Throughout history, there has always been a rearrangement of people groups by way of war, famine, slavery, politics, economic hardship, and sometimes, all of those at the same time!
There is an interesting migration going into Italy.
Before the 60’s, it was the Italians who were forced to look outside of their own country, since poverty had Italy in a choke-hold. Over the past several decades, however, Italy has become a Western nation and now attracts those living under hardship.
One of the largest migrating people groups coming to Italy is, Ghanaians. In Pordenone, Italy, Ghanaians comprise almost 4% of the population and is known as the Italian capital of Ghana. It may not sound like much to those living in the United States, but in countries like Italy, it’s a significant number.
According to a recent report by the Italian foundation Ismu (Initiatives and Studies on Multi-Ethnicity, www.ismu.org), 8.7 percent of Italy’s population, or 5.3 million people, are immigrants. Many of these immigrants are evangelical Christians.
Paolo Naso, a political science and religion professor at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” says, “The rise of foreign evangelical churches in Italy is a new phenomenon. In the ’80s and ’90s, most African immigrants were Muslims.” Over the last decade, the number of Protestants in Italy has reached between 200,000 and 300,000, a majority of them African-born evangelicals.
The legal hiccup for these Christian immigrants in all of this is, “Italian authorities don’t recognize their role: ethnic churches are registered as ‘cultural associations,’ and pastors, like other immigrants, usually need [other jobs] to get a [legal residency permit]. They can’t obtain their papers on religious reasons.” It’s because a law on religious freedom never passed in this country,” says Naso.
SOURCE: New America Media