Archd., 2; dioc., 3; a.a., 1; abp., 5; bp., 4; parishes, 284; priests, 275; (231 dioc., 44 rel.); p.d., 7; sem., 60; bros., 9; srs., 352; bap., 4,886; Caths., 541,000 (5%); tot. pop., 10,650,000.
Federation in southeastern Europe formed in 2003 from the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro; capital, Belgrade.
Christianity was introduced from the seventh to ninth centuries in the regions combined to form Yugoslavia after World War I. Since these regions straddled the original line of demarcation for the Western and Eastern Empires (and churches), and since the Reformation had little lasting effect, the Christians are nearly all either Latin- or Eastern-rite Catholics or Orthodox. Yugoslavia was proclaimed a socialist republic in 1945, and persecution of the Church began. In an agreement signed June 25, 1966, the government recognized the Holy See's spiritual jurisdiction over the Church in the country and guaranteed to bishops the possibility of maintaining contact with Rome in ecclesiastical and religious matters. During the early 1990s split of the Yugoslav republic, Catholic leaders joined Orthodox and, in some cases, Muslim leaders, in calling for peace.
(The above exert comes from Our Sunday Visitor's 2004 Catholic Almanac and is used on this web site with the publisher's permission.)