Roman Catholics are still the predominant Christian group in Rome, but those of Orthodox denominations are now a major presence in the holy city, according to the findings of a report released by the Rome diocese section of the Roman Catholic organisation Caritas and the Migrantes Foundation.

Catholics make up 50 per cent of the 211.773 Christians in the province of Rome, followed by the Orthodox who account for 38 per cent. Protestants are far behind with 9 per cent and the remaining 3 per cent is made up of other Christian denominations. Those of the Orthodox rites have increased from 50,000 in 2000 to 82,000 in 2004, while the numbers of the other Christian denominations have remained almost the same. The increase in Orthodox believers is the result of the large numbers of Romanians who have come to Rome since the last report was published four years ago.

Christians are still the largest single religious group of the resident immigrant population in the province of Rome. They make up 66 per cent of the total of 320,807 immigrants, followed by Muslims with 16 per cent, Hindus with 2.9 per cent, Buddhists with 2.2 per cent, Jews with .3 per cent and other religions 12.1 per cent. The breakdown of the different religions has remained almost the same over the four-year period.

The guide lists 185 places or worship for immigrants in the city of Rome compared with 154 places in 2000: 132 Catholic places of worship, 26 Protestant, 10 Orthodox, seven Muslim, five Jewish and five for eastern religions.

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