Discrimination Against Christian Communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Date of incident: February 1, 2012

Almost 20 years after the war in the Balkans, there is still discrimination against Christians, especially Catholic Christians, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Cardinal Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo pointed out the situation of Christians in his country during a visit to the international headquarters of the Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

In the employment market, in schools and in other spheres of social life, Catholics are systematically disadvantaged, reported the Cardinal, and added that the aim was to persuade Catholics to leave the country. Church lands and buildings that were confiscated during the period of Communism have not been returned, and building approvals for churches are subjected to years of delay. In addition, in some parishes, Catholic families must wait for years to be connected to the main electricity supply, while others are given preferential treatment. Priests also receive no medical care, even though the Vatican and Bosnia-Herzegovina have signed an agreement providing for this. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, 40 % of the population are followers of Islam, and some 31 % belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church. Catholics however still account for about 10 %. Of the 820,000 Catholics who lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina before the war between 1992 and 1995, only 460,000 remain. Thousands died during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the majority fled to escape the fighting. Pastor Anton Maric, a priest and the Diocesan Financial Director in Banja Luka explained: “In my parish in Simici, north-east of Banja Luka, there were three to four thousand Catholics in those days; today there are two hundred.” The Cardinal added:  “We are a minority, but we are a constructive force that wishes to make a contribution to the success of society.”


http://hicatholicmom.blogspot.com/2012/02/acn-news-discrimination-against.html http://www.churchinneed.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6927&news_iv_ctrl=1001 http://www.wheregodweeps.org/breaking-news/bosnia-herzegovina-archbishop-of-sarajevo-demands-equal-treatment-for-catholics/ http://www.kath.net/detail.php?id=35007