Rome (NEV), August 31, 2018 – “The Sociological Survey on the Ecclesiastic Resources and Statistics” (RI.SO.RSE), presented on August 28 at the Synod of the Methodist and Waldensian churches of Torre Pellice (Turin), represents mainly a great adventure, a journey in which the group of experts who collected the surveys had the opportunity to visit our churches and learn about their work throughout the Italian territory”. This was expressed by the political scientist Paolo Naso, during the presentation press conference.
The RI.SO.R.S.E research, edited by a technical working group formed around the Confronti Study Center, presented interesting data, between lights and shadows, which help to better understand the state of health of the Methodist and Waldensian churches. A quantitative and qualitative approach, with the use of focus groups and communities sample that, as Naso reported, returned the image of a changing church. The data in question show a church in “stable degrowth”, with evident internal fragility, but also with a prominent external visibility, able to express itself on public issues.
Among the essential data of the research if, on one side, there is a decrease in the Waldensian and Methodist population of about the 24% since 1985, on the other side there is a strong increase of “sympathizers” (it is enough to note that against about 22,000 Waldensians and Methodists, there are 600,000 people who assign their 8 per thousand of the Income Taxes, to these churches).
“Not always though, to the enthusiasm for a community very lively on social issues, corresponds an interest for its spiritual and religious dimension” underlined Naso.
Daniela di Carlo, pastor of the Waldensian church of Milan, speaking about the experience of her community, reported of several new entries of adult people who decided not to live their spirituality in solitude and of other people that, even if the initial approach was due to the need of social change, experimented a transformation that linked social commitment to the Gospel.
“The phenomenon of secularization is true, but partial. Many talk about religion and spirituality, many are looking for meaningful lives. The religious market is very rich today – concluded Naso – and we must be able to reflect on these facts”.