(ANSA) - Rome, September 18 - Two million non-Catholic
worshippers in Italy were officially recognized by the Italian
State on Tuesday after 15 years of lobbying.
An agreement signed with the Orthodox Church in Italy, the
Apostolic Church (Pentecostal) and the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, now means
that followers of the three religions will be fully recognized
Massimo Introvigne from the Observatory of Religious
Freedom said at a press conference on Rome's Capitol Hill that
there are about 1.4 million Orthodox followers in Italy and that
number is predicted to increase, surpassing the current 1.5
million Muslim community by 2014.
Around 500,000 Pentecostal worshippers reside in Italy and
about 25,000 Mormons.
Legal implications of the agreement range from marriage
rights to religion-specific tax contributions.