Inter-European Division

The Adventist Church in Italy Celebrates 160th Anniversary

New docu-film highlights Adventist history in the country.

EUD News
The Adventist Church in Italy Celebrates 160th Anniversary

[Photo: EUD News]

2024 is a special year for the Adventist Church; it marks 160 years of presence in Italy. A documentary tells the story of the denomination in our country. Tiziano Rimoldi, professor at the Adventist Faculty of Theology in Florence, highlights significant places and recalls the numerous events the denomination has encountered in over a century and a half, always experiencing, both in joy and distress, the closeness of the Lord.

The Beginnings

The first witness of the Adventist message in Europe was Michael B. Czechowski, who, having arrived from the United States, chose to begin his preaching in the Waldensian valleys, in Piedmont, in the summer of 1864. The year had not yet ended when Catherine Revel descended into the baptismal waters and became the first European Adventist. Over time, churches and institutions of the denomination were born. For instance, the “Villa Aurora” Institute in Florence, which prepares young men and women for service in communities as pastors and pastoral assistants, is a campus well-integrated into the city’s reality.

The film also highlights the Adventists' path to religious freedom, which culminated in the agreement with the Italian State (1986) and was approved by the law of 22 November 1988, n. 516. This law, which turned thirty-five last year, regulates relations between the Italian Republic and the Adventist Church.

The Story Continues

“With the solidarity of the global body of the Church, the self-sacrifice of the Italian Adventist faithful, and divine support, dreams that seemed impossible have become reality,” recounts Rimoldi at the end of the documentary. “But this story continues, and we are the ones who are writing its pages."

“The words of Ellen G. White [co-founder of the denomination],” continues Rimoldi, “written in her diary in 1886 while she reflected on the mission in Italy, still echo today, full of hope: 'We will work, we will pray, and we will believe'.”

The short docu-film of the Ellen G. White Study and Documentation Center, created in collaboration with the Florentine Adventist Institute, concludes with this verbal trilogy quoted by Rimoldi. These words invite action and seek to encourage individuals to look toward the future without forgetting the past, its roots, and divine guidance. Today, the church in Italy stands on the shoulders of its pioneers.

To watch the Youtube video: 

The original article was published on the Inter-European Division website.

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