THE number of Muslims in Italy has rocketed from about 2,000 in 1970 to nearly two million at the end of 2015.
The number of Muslims in Italy has increased to nearly two million, according to a new study
He said: “This number is shocking also because in 1970 there were only between 2,000 and 3,000.”
Mr Introvigne said the number of Muslims in Italy is growing rapidly.
There are only four official mosques registered with around 2,000 unregistered mosques across the country.
But despite being home to Europe’s largest mosque – the Great Mosque of Rome – Islam is not formally recognised by the state leading to a surge in underground places of worship.
In September, the Great Mosque of Rome shunned a scheme to open its doors to the public during Eid.
It is not the first time the mosque has distanced itself from events to promote solidarity with the church.
Catholicism is the biggest religion in Italy
Based in Turin, Cesnur was established in 1988 by religious scholars from European and American universities.
The centre found 245,621 Italian citizens class themselves as Muslims compared to 1,613,500 immigrants in Italy who identify as Muslims.
In a study, Cesnur said: “The estimate of 245,621 Italian Muslim citizens is subject to rapid future changes in the case of more rapid access to citizenship for immigrant Muslims. In their great majority, the Italian citizens are not Muslim converts, but “new citizens” who were already Muslims at the time of acquiring citizenship.”
Sociologist Massimo Introvigne says the number of Muslims in Italy is growing rapidly
Italy is home to Europe’s largest mosque- the Great Mosque of Rome
A total of 124,500 migrants have arrived in Italy alone between January and September 2016, the country’s home office has said.
But it is unclear exactly how many Muslims there are in the country as Italy’s National Institute for Statistics does not collect religious data.