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Italy's Mormons get their first temple in Catholicism's cradle

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 01:32s

Italy's Mormons get their first temple in Catholicism's cradle

For Italy's 25,000 Mormons, their first temple that has been completed in Rome is a sign that they too are finally on the map in the heart of Christianity.

Megan Revell reports.

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Italy's Mormons get their first temple in Catholicism's cradle

It's a building fit for the king of kings, but while this new and impressive temple sits in Rome - the cradle of Christianity - it caters to Italy's 25,000 Mormons.

And the symbolism behind the temple's location was quite deliberate, says Italian Church elder Alessandro Dini-Ciacci.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ELDER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, ALESSANDRO DINI-CIACCI, SAYING: "Rome is the centre of Christianity, here's where the apostles Peter and Paul, the early apostles of the Church of Christ came to preach and bared their testimony.

Then we built a house to the Lord.

We built it in a central location for members to come." Pope Francis, who sits 18km away in the Vatican, will not be attending the opening.

The Roman Catholic Church technically does not recognise Mormonism because of differences over doctrine.

They also diverge when it comes to financing; Mormons give 10 percent of their income to their Church.

With granite from Sardinia, marble from Carrara, this 10-year project may have cut into the coffers.

It's believed to have cost tens of millions of dollars.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ELDER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, ALESSANDRO DINI-CIACCI, SAYING: "The temple is built with the finest materials, is very refined.

It is our offering of love, our show of love for the saviour and his father." Italy accounts for a small portion of Mormonism's global flock.

After starting in the United States in the 1800s, the faith has now swelled to account for 16 million devotees worldwide.

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