Although a secular nation, religion remains a dominant part of Italian society. Italy has a unique religious heritage and 2,000 years of Christianity has permeated every facet of Italian life. The Vatican City, the headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church, is located within Italy and is a self-contained sovereign state. 90% of Italians identify as Roman Catholics although only one-third claim to be practicing Catholics. Italy is also religiously diverse, with the remaining 10% including mature Protestant and Jewish communities as well as a growing Muslim immigrant community. According to the most recent Eurobarometer poll (2005), 74% of Italian citizens said they believe there is a God.
Although, in 1984, Italy ended the Catholic Churches status as the state religion, there remains a strong Catholic subculture. Although only one-quarter of Italians regularly attend mass, over 95% are baptized. Saints days, first communions and various religious festivals remain very popular. The success of any business requires an understanding and sensitivity to these religious observations.
Kent, Peter C. 2011. Catholicism in Modern Italy: Religion, Society and Politics since 1861 Catholic
Historical Review. Vol.97 Issue 1, p164-166
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