What do you imagine when you think of Italy? Perhaps elegant canals and gondolas, vineyards producing some of the world's best wines, delicious pizzas, pastas, and gelatos, or its famous historical landmarks such as the Coliseum and Michelangelo's David?
Italy is indeed home to breathtaking art, culture, and history, and its spiritual heritage is also stunning. The gospel first came to Italy with the Apostle Paul and the country has fostered spiritual fathers and mothers for centuries. However, the Reformation's reach into Italy was mercilessly stamped out and the philosophies of the 20th and 21st centuries have chipped away at the region's faith in God. Italy is home to Vatican City, the center of Catholicism, yet devotion and practice have dwindled dramatically. Most Italians would still claim their Catholic heritage yet frequent a church only for major holidays; they would describe themselves as apathetic towards faith, eternity, heaven, hell, or the question of the reality of God. Instead, people pursue living a pleasant life while they can.
We work in Friuli Venezia-Giulia
Our beautiful region in the northeastern corner of Italy lies north of Venice, south of Germany and the Alps, and west of Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia. It's a rich agricultural region with a proud Friulano heritage. The many passing armies over the centuries have shaped a culture that, while kind and welcoming, can be suspicious of change and outside influences.
The capital city of Udine is home to our first church plant in the region, now led by Italian elders. Our team is currently nurturing a church plant founded in Pordenone, Italy, in 2012.