Religion in Croatia
The Catholic religion is a defining aspect of the Croatian identity and deeply connected with politics. When Croatia was a part of former Yugoslavia Tito discouraged outward displays of religion as part of his effort to meld the ethnic identities. As a deeply religious people, Croatians smoldered under the restrictions and lost no time publicly celebrating their Catholic faith when the country declared independence.
The Croatian independence run was strongly supported by the Vatican and the country has been treated to a stream of visits by Pope Jean Paul II. The Pope's visit to Zagreb in 1998 to beatify cardinal Stepinac was greeted with great celebrations. Today the church is a highly respected institution
Religion goes a long way to explaining the bitter differences between the Catholic Croats and the Orthodox Serbs as well as the relatively traditional values that prevail in Croatia. Homosexuality is still frowned upon although attitudes are changing slowly. Yet paradoxically, there is wide tolerance
for naturism and abortion is legal (although restricted) in Croatia.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to visit our Croatia Official Forum.
Did you ever hear the phrase, "More Catholic than the Pope"? It could have been written about Croatian people where Catholic holidays are celebrated with great enthusiasm. According to recent results, nearly 90% of the population defines itself as Catholic, nearly 3% as Orthodox, 2.1% atheist and only 1.1% Muslim.
in Croatia, enough to encourage many young Croats to enter convents or the priesthood which further endears the country to the Vatican. Church services are strongly attended (30% of Croats claim to attend mass weekly) and some 76%
of Croats answering a recent poll described themselves as religious.