An Overview of Naples
Naples is the capital of the Campania region. The city is the third most populated municipality (city proper) of Italy, but the second metropolitan area, after Milan. It was founded between the 7th and 6th centuries BC by the Greeks and was named Neapolis, which means new city. Oddly enough with a name that literally means new city, it has one of the biggest historical city centres in the world, and its’ pride are the 448 historical and monumental churches, the highest number in the world for a single city. Its’ territory, particularly the iconic sight of the gulf of Naples (but also Mount Vesuvius, the music, etc. ) is arguably one of the most powerful symbolic images of Italy.
The most widely spoken language in Naples is Italian or a mixture of Italian and Napulitano (Neapolitan). Neapolitan is sometimes described as an Italian dialect, but may be considered a separate and sometimes unintelligible language. Neapolitan does not enjoy any official status, but it does have a rich literary tradition and it is still thriving in Campania and adjacent parts of Lazio, Abruzzo, Basilicata, Molise and Calabria. This said, the official language of Naples (as of all of Italy) is Italian and everyone speaks it. Neapolitan has strong Spanish and French influences originating from their occupation of the area. Therefore, more Spanish and French words are understood by the locals than in other parts of Italy. English is the most commonly spoken foreign language, although the average knowledge of English is far from excellent.
Religion in Italy
Italy is a modern European state that is secular in its government and the traditional power once held by organised religion in Italy is declining. Today, nearly one fifth of the population of Italy profess to be either Atheists or Agnostics, while much of the remainder of people in Italy who do profess a religion do not necessarily follow it that strictly. Nevertheless, in comparison to some other Western European countries, religion is still very much ingrained in the culture of Italy.
Italy is the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Catholic branch of the Christian religion. It was in Italy that Catholic theology first developed and the Pope, who is the official head of the Catholic religion, resides in the Vatican City in Italy. About 80% of people in Italy identify themselves as followers of the Catholic religion, although regular church attendees represent only between 30-40% of the population of Italy.
While there are other denominations of the Christian religion represented in Italy, these are very small in number. Perhaps the most significant of these religions are the Jehovah’s Witnesses who number approximately half a million people. Other interpretations of the Christian religion in Italy include the Protestants.
Today, the Muslim religion is the second largest religion in Italy. The total number of followers of the Muslim religion in Italy currently stands at about 700,000. However, it should be noted that the majority of followers of the Muslim religion in Italy are either recent immigrants or second generation immigrants to Italy (source).
Would you pray that God would send more laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?
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