Archd., 4; dioc., 10;mil. ord., 1; abp., 9; bp., 18; parishes, 1,554; priests, 2,259 (1,444 dioc., 816 rel.); p.d., 2; sem., 383; bros., 84; srs., 3,436; catechists, 1,610; bap., 41,402; Caths. 3,772,000 (81%); tot. pop., 4,660,000.
Independent (1991) republic in southeastern Europe; capital Zagreb; formerly a constituent republic of Yugoslavia. Christianity was introduced in the seventh century. On-again, off again fighting from 1991 to 1995 pitted mostly Catholic Croats against mostly Orthodox Serbs. In 1995, Croatian bishops issued guidelines for rebuilding the nation that included suppressing feelings of vengeance toward Serbs. However, in 1996 the head of Croatia's Helsinki human rights committee criticized the bishops for taking a weal stance on Croat abuses after the 1995 Croatian recapture of the Serb-occupied Krajina region. Pope John Paul II's 1998 beatification of Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac generated controversy among some Serb and Jewish leaders, who considered the cardinal Nazi sympathizer.
(The above exert comes from Our Sunday Visitor's 2004 Catholic Almanac and is used on this web site with the publisher's permission.)