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Religious development

The majority of Italians continue to describe themselves as "practicing Catholics", but according to a survey published recently, a good many of them are willing to change the order or even the content of the Ten Commandments.
A study carried out by the centre for social studies, Censis, for the Italian episcopate, shows that 57.8% of Italians say they are "practicing Catholics", thus confirming the roots of Catholicism in the country.
In addition to these 57.8% there are 28.7% non-practicing Catholics. A mere 9.2% of Italians said they were agnostic or atheist and 4.3% said they belonged to another religion.
Only 21.4% of practicing Catholics, however, said they go to church every Sunday, according to the Censis study. Another study carried out by the weekly newspaper Expresso shows that the moral standards of today have altered the order of the 10 Commandments.
According to this study carried out on believers and non-believers, a majority of Italians would be in favour of making the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" first instead of fifth. They also feel the second commandment should be the one on stealing. Italians said they would move the first commandment "You shall have no other God but me" to the seventh spot.
The Espresso’s study also shows that Italians today would be in favour of a new Decalogue, of which the first commandment would be to "not commit any act of violence against children". According to the newspaper, the new commandments Italians would like to see are to "always protect peace", "protect nature and animals", "treat men and women equally", "not be racist" or "not use science to alter human beings".

Source: AFP news item from 18 Nov. 2004.

D 27 September 2012   

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