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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Vatican City

Ethnicity

The ethnicity of the people of Vatican City is quite unique and in a way matches the ethnicities of the people that practice Roman Catholicism. The country is home to many Roman Catholic priests and cardinals, who come from all over the world, but primarily Catholic countries, including much of Europe, South and North America, and pockets throughout Asia and Africa. Most of the residents (who are not citizens) are ethnic Italians, as they live and work in the country, but are originally from Rome or elsewhere in Italy. All the guards are Swiss citizens and are generally ethnic Germans, French, or Italians. The current head of state is Argentine and the next head of state can be from anywhere.

Language

There is no official language in Vatican City, although most communication is done in Italian, English, French, German, or Spanish. To make matters more confusing, all official communication in Vatican City (the political entity) is done in Italian, but the "Holy See" (the organization that leads the Catholic Church and is located in Vatican City) uses Latin for most official written church documents. Meanwhile, the Swiss Guard uses German for all commands and today's head of state is a native Spanish speaker. Generally speaking, all service employees speak Italian and English, but many also speak additional languages, with Spanish, French, and German being perhaps the most common.

Religion

Vatican City is home to the Holy See, which is the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church. Due to this, every citizen of Vatican City (which is run by the Holy See) is Catholic, although people of every religion regularly visit, and are welcomed to visit the city.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Learn more about Vatican City's role in the Catholic Church; continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014