When we think of Italy we probably don’t think about a growing, confessional Reformed church but it exists. The Rev Andrea Ferrari not has the coolest name in the Western world but he is the minister. He was ordained in 2010 and is called by Christ Reformed Church (Santee, CA) as the church planter and minister in Milan, Italy. Together Christ Reformed and Chiesa Evangelica Riformata ‘Filadelfia’ are seeking to establish La Chiesa Riformate in Italia.
The reason one does not think first of all the Reformation in Italy is because it is the home of the Roman Catholic Church. There were, however, Italian Protestants. Mainly they had to flee Italy to safe havens in Geneva and Heidelberg so the Reformed Reformation certainly did not flourish in Italy. Today, however, Italy, like the rest of Europe, is quite secularized. The need is great. The website notes:
Of [Italy’s] 60,250,535 citizens, 58,441,290 were baptized into the Roman Church (though a large percentage of this number consists of nominal members). After that, the ecclesiastical landscape consists mainly of charismatic and Brethren churches. Not even the remaining Waldensian Church in Italy can be considered a Reformed presence. In 1975, it merged with the Italian Methodist Church and the Baptist Union, and is now a member of the World Council of Churches. Aside from CERF, there is not a single congregation in Italy that confesses the Three Forms of Unity. Rome did its work well in the sixteenth and seventeenth centries. As confessional Reformed Christians, we are compelled to ask, “Where is the Gospel being preached each week in Italy?” While there are a few Baptist congregations in the country that preach the Gospel, there is no distinctively Reformed witness.
The establishment of a confessional Reformed beachhead in Milan represents a tremendous opportunity to extend the Reformed witness to the Christian faith.
Certainly the establishment of this work calls for prayer that the Lord would soften the hearts of those who hear the law and the gospel, that through the gospel the Spirit would raise the dead to life and grant to his elect the gift of faith and through that faith union with Christ. May that glorious process occur again and again to his glory and to the upbuilding of his church.
Finally, La Chiesa Evangelica Riformata ‘Filadelfia’ also needs your support. Check out the site, the video, and the support page. They’re all in English. They’ll be happy to talk and supply you with more information.