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Is Italy a Pagan Country?

Italy has been since the Roman Empire under its legacy, indeed the all-pervasive Roman Catholic Church with its centre in Rome has all the vestiges in itself of the old Roman Empire, still alive. Since the Roman times also the Nordic country, especially the Anglo-Saxon one were under the dominion of the roman way of life, but then with the Reformation they shed these shackles and undeniably their ways were reformed by rejecting the pagan aspects of Roman Catholicism.

This story begins a long way back, in the year 313 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great issued the Edict of Milan and made Christianity a legal religion that would become, by law, at the end of that century, the official state religion of the Roman Empire effectively bringing about the ‘death’ of Christianity and the Birth of the Christian Religion.

In brief, prior to Constantine the Empire was Pagan and all sorts of Idols god were worshiped. When Christianity "the last comer" came, its exclusive tenets were seen as threatening the established religious system and thus ostracised and its members most often than not being put to death or relegated to the lowest rungs of society. In other words if one was a Christian he could not hold any office of importance. With the Edict of Constantine Christianity became the religion of state, in fact the official religion, thus theoretically banning Paganism. So what happened? Essentially, after that law, to hold any form of office one had to be a "Christian". Thus to demonstrate their "Christianity" pagans went to Christian churches taking with them their idols for to them Christianity was just another idolatry to be added to their extensive baggage of idols. Eventually some of these pagans found their way into the top echelons of the church and by virtue of their position they eventually introduced their idols in symbiosis with Christianity, changing names but still the same entity.

For example: the Council of Ephesus, 431 AD, had the cult of Diana the virgin goddess (in Greek = Artemis, in Phoenician = Astarte, her cult continued in Ephesus until 431) supplanted by the cult of Mary by the Roman Catholic Church to legitimize that Mary was the "mother of god" and the "mother of all" and not Diana which also had these attributes. They also gave to Mary all the other attributes of Diana such as: "queen of heaven" and "divine virgin" etcetera. Before 431 AD Mary was not recognized and so by this edict they then effectively paganised Christianity at Ephesus and Diana, still alive, had her name changed to that of Mary.

And thus the Roman Catholic Church went through the subsequent ages as a form of pagan Roman Empire still alive today, with their roots in idolatry. The Reformation was able to "reform" most minds of the Nordic people but the lower part of Europe, especially Italy, never went through the de-paganisation cleansing effect of the Reformation and thus their "Christianity" has remained on the main the same as then, and so the people’s mentality.

A recent survey in Italy shows that most Italians are idolatrous as their roman ancestors. Here are the results to the question to practicing Catholics if they sought help in prayer:

70% said yes, and of these are the personalities they pray to:

31% pray to a recently dead monk, Padre Pio

25% to saint Anthony of Padua

7% to Mary

4% saint Rita da Cascia

4% saint Joseph (the earthly father of Jesus)

2% Jesus Christ

the remainder got less than 1% each including madre Teresa of Calcutta.

Moreover 71% of this sample says that they have in their homes, cars and on themselves images of saints to whom they pray:

48% have picture of a recently dead monk, Padre Pio

18% saint Anthony of Padua

15% Mary

7% saint Francis

3% saint Rita da Cascia

2% saint Joseph (the earthly father of Jesus)

1% picture or icon of Jesus Christ on the cross

the remainder got less than 1% each including madre Teresa of Calcutta.

It is interesting and shocking to sadly note that less than 2% of these professing practicing people pray to the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ,  the one that has purchased His church with His own divine blood.

Clearly Scripture has only ONE mediator between men and God: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1Ti 2:5)

Moreover, according to Scripture there is only ONE name under heaven by which men are saved: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Act 4:12)

Therefore, the bottom line is that not all Italians are practicing Catholics and between these there are about 250 thousand Evangelicals that believe in Christ. On the Italian population these represent 250 thousand / 58 million = 0.4%, an insignificant number.  We can say that between the practicing Catholics (admitting that they place their faith in Christ) and the small figure of Evangelicals (admitting that they are true believers) the percentage of Italians that proclaim Christ is less than 1% of the population, thus 1% of 58 million is about 580 thousand, small figure for a large country.

So to respond to the question: "Is Italy a pagan country?" Well the figures are clear and leave no doubt that not much from the pagan practices of the old Roman Empire has changed in this country.

Here are some perceived pictures of these pagan idols:

Padre Pio  -  Mary  -  Jesus