Chiesa Evangelica Mennonita Italiana

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Revision as of 22:46, 10 December 2014 by (talk)
Italian Mennonite Church
Italy map.png
Google Maps, 2014.


Sicily and Bari regions, Italy

Date Established


MWC Affiliated?


Number of Congregations

5 (2014)


250 (2014)

Chiesa Evangelica Mennonita Italiana (The Italian Mennonite Church) was established as an official member of Mennonite World Conference in 1981. However, the Mennonite presence in Italy reaches back to the post-World War II era. The Italian Mennonite Church began primarily through Virginia Mennonite Conference missions and outreach.



Unlike many of the Mennonite mission efforts in Europe, the Italian Mennonite Church was not born of direct planning or missionary strategies (Baecher 238). Instead, the Virginia Board of Missions and Charities started its work in Italy as a result of correspondence and the ensuing relationships that formed. After World War II, an Italian woman named Franca Ceraulo saw an address on a relief package sent by Mennonites. She began corresponding with a few Virginia Mennonites about the Anabaptist belief (Yoder). In 1949, Lewis Martin and Jason Weaver traveled in Europe to explore the possibilities for mission work and relief efforts by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). By the suggestion of Ceraulo’s friends in Virginia, they visited Ceraulo, who was ready to be baptized (Yoder). Through Ceraulo’s leadership and testimony, a Mennonite congregation began to emerge in Italy (Eberly).

The mission in Sicily, established and administered by the Virginia Board of Missions and Charities, was one of eight Mennonite missions established in Europe during 1949 and 1953 (Baecher 237). Soon after the Ceraulo’s baptism, the first Mennonite church in Italy, Centro Agape, was established (Baecher). Throughout the church’s growth, the Virginia Mennonite Conference members have maintained a presence as missionaries, church planters, and pastors.