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On 4 October 2008 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it will build a temple in Rome, Italy. The temple will be located in the countryside outside of Rome, but will have good access via highway.
Missionaries were sent to Italy in the early years of the Church, during the 1850's. Lorenzo Snow, who became the 5th prophet of the LDS Church, was one of these missionaries. The slightly over 200 converts left Italy to join with the Saints in the United States. The Italian mission was closed, and permission to preach in Italy was declined by the government in 1900. In 1951 Vincenzo di Francesca discovered a charred Book of Mormon in a garbage bin. The cover and title page were missing, and it took him years to find out the identity of the book and achieve baptism into the Church. Italians who had converted outside of Italy returned to the country and joined other Saints there. By 1964, over 200 Mormons were in Italy.
However, it wasn't until 1965 that the mission re-opened, with permission from the Italian government to proselyte. Today there are about 23,000 Latter-day Saints in Italy. The Church is attempting to win state status in Italy along with already established religions. The prime minister gave his approval in 2007, and now parliament has to vote in the affirmative.