Jan 4, 2011

The Waldensians of Italy: Rooted in the Word.

The Pellice Valley where the Waldensians hid and trained.
At the base of the Italian Alps in northwest Italy, lies a place where the first reform movement of Europe first took place many centuries ago. The Pellice Valley, home of the Waldensians, became a base for Bible study and training. The Waldensians believed everyone should have the right to read the Holy Bible for themselves instead of relying solely upon the interpretation of the Scriptures by clergy. They devoted themselves to the study and translation of scripture during a time when this was a crime punishable by death by the Roman Catholic church. The Waldensians went out two by two throughout all of Italy and beyond to share the precious good news they so wholeheartedly embraced. They wanted people to know what the scriptures actually said, and they proclaimed salvation by grace through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9  The ministry was one of persecution and in many cases martyrdom.
Many Waldensians were martyred not far from this place.
Due to harsh persecution from the Roman Catholic church and political figures, the Waldensians were forced to flee Italy, taking the Gospel to many European countries. The Waldensians returned to Italy however and persevered until religious freedom was finally granted at the end of the 18th century. The Pellice Valley in northwest Italy has been a land of truth, freedom of choice, perseverance, and selfless service to Christ.
A Waldensian church in the Italian Alps.
It is in this very place where a new training base now stands called Forterocca. This center is a place where many come to be trained, refreshed, reformed, and inspired. Receiving spiritual nourishment and training at Forterocca, Christians are then once again sent out to bless the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Did you know?
  1. Evangelical Christians make up only 1% of the population in Italy.
  2. Although primarily Roman Catholic. less than a quarter of the Italian population attends mass regularly.
  3. Over 100,000 practicing magicians live in Italy, and the city of Turin has one of the largest satanic houses of worship in Europe.
  4. With the rising numbers of immigrant minority groups, Islam is the second largest religion in Italy today.
  5. In over 31,000 Italian villages, there is no evangelical witness.
If  you visit the region, Forterocca is an excellent place to stay.

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