Freedom of religion in a secular state, but Catholicism enjoys an unofficial favoured status. Many leaders in the Catholic Church are at the forefront of reconciliation and justice issues.
The profound impact of historic and recent hatred among Croat, Serb and Bosnian could continue to hamper the affected nations for generations to come.The iron bond shackling ethnicity to religion also hampers progress and stifles spiritual breakthrough. Many suffer continued psychological and emotional trauma as a result of the upheavals, and little has been done to address this. It is an area where churches might have a great impact. Pray for true reconciliation and for the religious and ethnic bondages to be broken – these can only happen through the power of Christ.
The Catholic Church is highly influential in Croatia. About 15% of Catholics regularly attend mass – a high proportion for Europe. Some Catholic leaders are at the forefront of the reconciliation movement and some cooperate with evangelicals.There is a small but active charismatic movement within the Catholic Church, but a significant shortage of young men joining the priesthood. Pray that all Croatians would move beyond empty rituals to a living relationship with Jesus.
Evangelicals are one of the few groups that straddle the ethnic divide. Many Bosnians, Croats and Serbs have been won to Christ and brought into fellowship together. The churches’ and missions’ care and love for those who suffered in the war won much credit for the gospel. Pray that evangelicals would continue to demonstrate the boundary-breaking, universal love of God.
Believing churches are spreading. Though still relatively small in size and number, new fellowships are popping up around the country, but several areas require urgent prayer. Pray for continual growth, unity, the different leaderships, leader-training, theological education and prayer movements.
Young people. High unemployment, little confidence in the future, functional godlessness and widespread drug use (80% of teens) show that hope is in short supply. Creative outreach and authentic love will see a response if believers are willing to stick it out.There is a strong focus by evangelicals on ministering to drug addicts. Pray for ministries reaching out to young people.
Bibles. The Croatian Bible is available in print, online and in audio format, and an easy-to- read NT has recently been published.There is also a children’s version. Pray for widespread distribution and impact of God’s Word into many lives.