Croatia

VIDEO

 

PRAYER POINTS

• Pray for lasting reconciliation among Bosnians, Serbs, and Croats after centuries-long rivalries and hatred towards one another.

 

• Pray for the body of Christ to unite across denominational lines to impact a traumatized society.

 

• Pray for spiritual breakthroughs among a large population of drug addicts who are in desperate need of hope.

 

SUMMARY

Shaped like a boomerang, the Republic of Croatia is a gateway to Eastern Europe. Bordered by Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, and Slovenia, it lies along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Most of the land is used for farming, and one-third of it is forested. Croatia is known for its 1,200 islands along the Adriatic coast, and only several dozen are inhabited. The larger islands offer scenic, swanky getaways for wealthy vacationers. Croatia’s landscape features unique, natural scenery with gorgeous coastlines, majestic mountains, picturesque lakes, and even rolling farmlands. A popular tourist destination, Croatia has rich history, architecture and scenery, as well as  hospitable natives.

 

Croatia’s land was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Then, in 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom that would eventually be known as Yugoslavia — a federal independent communist state. Though Croatia declared its independence in 1991, the people suffered four years of devastating conflict before gaining freedom from Serbian occupation. Between the effects of communism as part of Yugoslavia and several years of war, the economy was devastated. Today, the government still holds much economic control, and privatization has been slow. Tourism, which has been very profitable, has helped revive the nation. Membership in NATO (2009) and the European Union (2013) motivated change and increased foreign investment. Recently, the economy has experienced growth, although tourism and the national GDP took a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The unemployment rate has also improved significantly in the last two decades.

 

About 92% of Croats claim Christianity, and the vast majority are Catholic. In fact, Croatia is one of the most Catholic nations in the world. While the constitution affirms freedom of religion, the Catholic Church continues to receive state financial support and special treatment, and its leaders hold great national influence. However, being Catholic in Croatia has more to do with ethnicity than religion; only about 30% attend weekly Mass. Ethnicity and religion are often seen as inseparable. Evangelicals have been able to bridge the ethnic divide, with Bosnians, Croats, and Serbs worshiping side by side. The Evangelical Church only represents about 0.4% of the population, but it is slowly growing with congregations spreading throughout the nation. The scars of past wars and traumas remain, but the door is open for the message of peace, reconciliation, and hope that only Jesus can bring!

QUICK FACTS

Continent: Europe

Capital City: Zagreb

Government: Parliamentary Democracy

Population: 4,208,973

Major People Groups: 87% Croat; 5% Serb; 2% Vlach Gypsy (Gurbeti); 1% Venetian (Istrian)

Religion: Christian 94%, Agnostic 2%, Muslim 2%, Atheist 1%

Language: Croatian, Serbian, Romany, Venetian, Standard German

GDP Per Capita: $26,500

Literacy Rate: 99.3%

POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 0.7%

PHOTOS