Be Fruitful and Multiply… Fast! The Spread of Orthodox Churches in Italy

  • Giuseppe GiordanEmail author
  • Marco Guglielmi


Historically, the presence of the Orthodox Churches in Italy is a reality established over a number of centuries; from a sociological point of view, however, their significance is a relatively new phenomenon. This comes as a result of the huge influx of Eastern European immigrants over the last fifteen years, which meant that their importance within the social and religious contexts has grown considerably, to the point that Orthodox Christianity has become the second largest religion in the country together with Islam. Despite this, very few studies have focused on the settlement of Orthodox Christianity in Italy. From the socio-cultural point of view there is no global, current description of the Orthodox Churches presence in the Italian territory, except for the first study carried out during the year 2011. In this article, we start by presenting some outcomes of a new study carried out during 2015 where we map the surprisingly quick spread of the various jurisdictions throughout the Italian regions. We then compare the new outcomes with the results of the previous study, deepening some elements such as the relationship with the Italian state, the leadership of the various communities, and the dynamics of interaction between the Orthodox Churches and Catholicism.


Eastern Orthodox christianity Orthodox diaspora Religious diversity Religion and migration Religious settlement Religion in Italy Transnational religion 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department FISPPAUniversity of PaduaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Human Rights CentreUniversity of PaduaPadovaItaly

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