Organised Shi’ism without organisation

Italian Shi’a online communities under the pandemic


  • Minoo Mirshahvalad



Shi’ism, online communities, COVID-19, Italy


This article investigates the mutation of three aspects of Shi’a online communities before and during the pandemic. These aspects are the Shi’a relationship with their religious authorities, their relations with other faith communities and their gender relations. The article shows that gender relations have undergone relatively smaller changes. For the fulfilment of this enquiry, online ethnography and interviews with members of the online communities were adopted.

Author Biography

Minoo Mirshahvalad

Minoo Mirshahvalad is senior researcher at the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Sciences. She is Research Consultant at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona in a project related to Shi’a communities in Europe. She collaborates with the chair of the Islamic Studies at the University of Pisa as subject matter expert and member of undergraduate and graduate examination committees. She is a member of the research group of the Atlas of Religious or Belief Minorities Rights, a multi-year project headed by Prof. Silvio Ferrari. Her current research concerns Italian conversions to Shi’ism.