In Italy the Waldensians made their first important contacts with other denominations (Baptists,Methodists,Free churches), only at the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century, in particular after the unification of the Kingdom of Italy (1870). Before this date, the preaching of the Gospel on Italian soil was impossible or,at any rate, very limited.
The first important step towards collaboration between the different churches and Protestant movements was taken in 1920, during the lst Evangelical Congress, held in Rome.
The attempts to give a common witness, however, was made difficult or, in point of fact, impossible by 20 years of Fascist regime.
In 1946 the two Methodist branches (Episcopalian and Wesleyan) united and, together with the Baptist and Waldensians churches, set up a ‘Federal Council’ of Protestant churches which, in1967, became the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI). Since that date, there has been an ongoing collaboration on a local and nazional level for the preparation of ministers, the planning and carrying out of educational programmes for children and young people of the churches, and for the defence of freedom of conscience.