Croatia

What is Croatia like?

Croatia is a rather small central European country with a population of approximately 4.1 million and getting smaller, but nevertheless, its geographical traits are unique: the Adriatic coast with its 1000 islands, snowy mountains of Lika and Gorski kotar and fertile plains of Slavonia. Croatia borders Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovenia and Serbia on the mainland, and on the sea, Italy.When it comes to religious views, the majority of Croats define themselves as Roman Catholics, then there are Orthodox, mainly Serbian, Muslims and about 1% define themselves as protestants (and evangelicals are a minority even among the protestants), but the situation among the student population is quite different. A vast number of students consider themselves to be agnostics or atheists and there is a common belief among them that one cannot be a believer and a scientist. Others are religious because it's a part of the culture, but don't really rely on the teachings of the religion they claim to profess. Still, many evangelical churches (and even Roman Catholic parishes) have developed strong evangelization movements toward students and youth in general.

What is the present state of the work?

There are tens of thousands students in Zagreb, the capital, alone, and about one hundred thousand university students on the state level. STEP (Studentski evandeoski pokret) is the name of the Croatian student evangelical movement, with its headquarters in the capital. Currently, there are no student groups in other cities, although that was not alway the case. Although the Croatian movement has reached its maturity in years, that is 32, and is well known among evangelicals and Christians in general, in the past couple of years the number of volunteers has decreased significantly.

What are the current needs?

The need is great and there is a lot of work to be done, there are just a few volunteers who help the General Secretary with the organization of events and small groups. Croatian students aren't greatly attracted to Bible groups per se, but are very interested in charitable events and those focused around social issues, such as lectures and workshops related to interpersonal relationships (sex, relationships, marriage, friendship, employment, etc.).

So, once again there is need for active faithful volunteers and student leaders. Also, would like to find long term partners who are interested in joint projects in various areas.

What requirements are there?

Visa: Croatia’s entry requirements are pretty much the same as for the rest of the EU. Staying in Croatia over 90 days requires a visa or residency permit which is obtained at the Ministry of Interior Affairs. A temporary residence permit is valid for one year and can be easily renewed. For more info visit http://internationalliving.com/countries/croatia/visa/

Language: Croatian is not the easiest language. It is a Slavic language, extremely similar to Serbian and Bosnian, and also similar to Macedonian and Slovenian. Most Croats speak (or try to) English quite well; however, if someone was to work here they would be required to take a course in the Croatian language, because we believe speaking the local language (or trying to) shows interest in the culture and people and opens doors to relationships.

 

Facts Box

Google Map

Population

4.1 million 

Capital

Zagreb

Student Population

100,000

Language

Croatian

Religion

Majority Catholic, followed by Orthodox. 1% Muslim. Less than 20,000 evangelical believers

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