Please continue to pray for Croatia as it gets back on its feet after a major earthquake on 29th December and continuous aftershocks since then. Pray for all those who have lost homes and livelihoods. Pray for the families who were bereaved, or for those who were injured. The churches have been helping many families whose homes were destroyed; please pray for Christians to be able to point people to Jesus, as well as helping in practical ways.
A team of 12 Christian media producers in Croatia is now broadcasting the good news of Jesus on radio and TV for around 4 hours a day, every day. Their programmes reach the entire Croatian population of 4.5 million people, as well as the Croatian diaspora in the EU by broadcasting terrestrially and via Satellite TV. Pray that many viewers and listeners will be challenged to begin a journey with Christ, and that the Lord will provide much-needed resources for them to expand this ministry into Bosnia, Serbia and Slovenia.
Croatia has gone through huge changes in the past 30 years, moving haphazardly from communism to democracy. This beautiful country attracts millions of tourists each year to its Adriatic coastline and many idyllic islands. Tourism presents new opportunities for the 20,000 evangelical Christians. Nine out of ten nationals (4 million) are Roman Catholic. There are serious concerns about the widespread migration of thousands of Croatians into other EU member states. This affects many local churches. Sadly, corruption and bribery remain commonplace. Pray for honesty and integrity to be restored. Pray that Croatians will discover hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Give thanks that new churches are being planted on the mainland and also on at least one of Croatia's islands. Pray for a new generation of evangelists and church pastors.
There is a dire spiritual situation in Bosnia and Croatia: churches are sparse, evangelical believers are few, and apathy to the gospel reigns. There are less than ten thousand evangelical Christians in Croatia and less than five hundred in Bosnia! Some churches really want to make a difference but often they have few resources at their disposal. Many feel it will take up to fifty years to see new churches develop in their areas. That is too long for the eight million people in Bosnia and Croatia to wait. Please pray for visionary local leaders and churches to plant new churches and to reach the lost in their areas and for God to be at work powerfully by His Spirit.
As historic hatreds continue to affect many in the Balkans, there are a number of media initiatives underway to bring the revolutionary message of Christ before the Croatian people. Radio has a wide coverage across all bandwidths, and Internet radio in Croatian is another new and developing ministry. Lighthouse Radio in Zagreb is in the final stages on going online with Internet broadcasting, hopefully a first step towards a full FM license. Pray for completion of all the details to achieve this important milestone in the next two months.
Three lively churches, two in Croatia (Dubrava and Varaždin), and one in Bosnia (Novi Travnik), aim to start planting a total of 10 new churches over the next 5 years - a great undertaking. In order to do this they intend to mobilise 12 Brazilian missionaries and 4 Ukranian missionaries, who will greatly speed up the process. They are planning special worldwide prayer evenings for ‘Revival in the Balkans’, during Pentecost (8th-12th June) when they will seek to encourage and facilitate evenings of prayer, and hope to have people participating from Korea to Ukraine, Britain to Brazil, America to Australia, and everywhere in between! Pray for many new Christians and new churches, for finances and vision of the workers from Brazil and Ukraine, and for both the existing church planting zones (Dubrava and Varaždin from Croatia and Novi Travnik in Bosnia) and the possibility of identifying more in Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia.
It is generally understood that to be a ‘good Croatian’ is to be Catholic - a reflection of culture and tradition rather than the spiritual climate. However, there are now clear signs of growing unity amongst its approximately 8,000 evangelical Christians and there is a real need for Christians worldwide to rise to the challenge of serious intercessory prayer. Number one on the list must be new conversions; secondly, that the relatively small number of Christian leaders in Croatia would increase as the Lord calls workers into His harvest field. In the past, evangelicals have been pressured by society to remain in the enclaves, but in recent times have been encouraged to proclaim a dynamic witness. Let us support them in their endeavour. Currently there are 145 evangelical churches throughout Croatia with 16 in and around Zagreb.
Population: 4,190,700 (2016)
Official languages: Croatian
GDP (PPP) per capita: $24,053 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 76 years
Religions: 88% Catholic, 5% Agnostic or Atheist, 4% Eastern Orthodox, 1% Muslim, 2% other religions