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The Dwindling Number of Catholics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Need to Stop It

Tomo Vukšić ; Sveučilište u Sarajevu, Katolički bogoslovni fakultet

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (279 KB) str. 535-552 preuzimanja: 115* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Vukšić, T. (2020). Smanjivanje broja katolika u Bosni i Hercegovini i potreba da se ono zaustavi. Crkva u svijetu, 55 (3), 535-552.
MLA 8th Edition
Vukšić, Tomo. "Smanjivanje broja katolika u Bosni i Hercegovini i potreba da se ono zaustavi." Crkva u svijetu, vol. 55, br. 3, 2020, str. 535-552. Citirano 15.05.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Vukšić, Tomo. "Smanjivanje broja katolika u Bosni i Hercegovini i potreba da se ono zaustavi." Crkva u svijetu 55, br. 3 (2020): 535-552.
Vukšić, T. (2020). 'Smanjivanje broja katolika u Bosni i Hercegovini i potreba da se ono zaustavi', Crkva u svijetu, 55(3), str. 535-552.
Vukšić T. Smanjivanje broja katolika u Bosni i Hercegovini i potreba da se ono zaustavi. Crkva u svijetu [Internet]. 2020 [pristupljeno 15.05.2021.];55(3):535-552.
T. Vukšić, "Smanjivanje broja katolika u Bosni i Hercegovini i potreba da se ono zaustavi", Crkva u svijetu, vol.55, br. 3, str. 535-552, 2020. [Online].

After the number of Croats and Catholics in B&H was almost halved at the end of 20th century due to war persecution and displacement, emigration and negative growth became their new major problem. According to church data, after surviving the war tragedy and an initial slight comeback after the war, with new emigration and negative growth, the Catholic Church in B&H from 2003 to 2018 registered a loss of 99,133 believers. In other words, during the last 20 years, the Diocese of Banja Luka has lost 45.71% of believers, who were in the diocese in 1999. The Diocese of Sarajevo has lost 32.48% compared to 2002. The Diocese of Mostar has experienced a loss of 11.75% after 2006. And finally the Diocese of Trebinje has lost 13.04% since 2005. In this general loss according to church estimates, 75,919 Catholics emigrated from B&H during that period resulting in negative growth of 23,214 people.
The demographic decline of Catholics and Croats in B&H after the war is the consequence of many simultaneous causes. The most important among these are: lack of political and material support for the return of refugees and displaced persons; very negative natural growth; new emigration; high unemployment rates that encourage emigration in search of employment; political and legal uncertainty; corruption and frustration; new emigration as a consequence of plans by developed countries to replace their own demographic losses and to gain labour workers; insufficient social and material support for women who wish to give birth; the growing crisis of marital morality and secularization; a crisis of awareness among believers about the value of life and parental collaboration with the Creator God; young people leaving, and the high average age of the population, etc.
Croats in B&H are frustrated by the unjust internal division of the state into two entities, whose administrative structure in both cases is to their detriment, the unresolved national issue, and the fact that the electoral will of individuals and peoples is undermined by electoral law. In other words, since others often decide who their representative will be, many Croats feel disenfranchised and humiliated.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, a complex country of three constituent peoples and other citizens, finds itself in the middle of maintaining its current state, federalization, unitarism and secessionism. It also contains various cultures and civilizations: Central European, Christian, Mediterranean, Byzantine Orthodox and Byzantine Ottoman. This is why sincere dialogue is an existential need; a means of building a just peace, social harmony, the healing of wounds from a difficult past, and empowering the religious community's own awareness and call to be the moral vertical of society.
The quest for a just political solution for all in B&H, and thus the solution of the complex problems of Catholics and Croats, is the responsibility of the state government and the international community. But it is necessary to keep in mind the Church's social doctrine: it is of crucial importance that the authority makes every effort to create an atmosphere of security. In this context, it would be particularly useful to increase the political and legal certainty of the whole society, as well as the constitutionally legal equality of all, which will favour economic development. A just territorial and administrative reorganization of the entire state into a federal system for the whole of B&H would contribute to this. At the local level, Croats need to constantly strengthen and nurture their institutions of national culture and science, and it would also be of great benefit to define the basic interests of the peoples, which all Croatian forces would promote and represent through the democratization of political activities of the parties and the maintenance of good relations with Croatia and the world centers of power.
At the same time, Croatian people, referred to here, with some exceptions, are the only living Catholics and members of the Catholic Church in B&H. Thus, if there are Croats, there will be also the Catholic Church. This awareness is a prerequisite for any other form of real solidarity. In addition, it is the divine right of the Church to be present throughout the world for the salvation of men. Therefore, its credibility and internal unity should be strengthened, in order to establish a just society and to contribute to the search for fair solutions for all people. In this regard, implementation of the Basic Treaty with the Holy See (2006), as well as the Treaty with the Military Ordinariate (2010) and the Law on Freedom of Religion and the Legal Status of Churches and Religious Communities (2004) would be very important for the Catholic Church in B&H.

Ključne riječi
decrease in the number of Catholics and Croats, persecution, emigration, negative growth, failed return, lack of work, search for a solution, state power, international community, Church response

Hrčak ID: 247654



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