1.2 Million Immigrants in Italy Ripe for Evangelization

ROME, FEB. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Italian Catholics have the possibility to proclaim Christ to 1.2 million non-Christian immigrants, the president of the nation’s episcopal conference says.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini offered data on immigration in his country when addressing a congress organized by the Mariapolis Center of Castel Gandolfo.

“Just over 30% are Muslim who, together with the other non-Christians, coming especially from the Asian East, constitute almost half the foreign presence, that is, a total that could reach 1.2 million,” the cardinal added.

This reality represents an “unheard-of chapter” for the work of evangelization of the Church in Italy, the cardinal said.

At the same time, he appealed to Italian Catholics to reject “any intention or method of proselytizing: One must go out to meet people, all people, with confidence and the hope that through this encounter Christ will be able to reveal his face.”