SARAJEVO, Bosnia — Preliminary findings from Bosnia’s first census since the 1992-1995 conflict shows the population has dropped substantially since then, raising concerns about the government structure put in place by the Dayton Peace Accords.
The state statistics agency said it counted a total of around 3,800,000 residents, down from the 4.4 million recorded in 1991.
The census results reflect demographic changes wrought by the conflict’s displacement and ethnic cleansing. The new figures are highly controversial because they could upset the quota-based power-sharing system between the previously warring Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats, and Orthodox Serbs.
Will there ever be a unity in Bosnia Herzegovina? The article above speaks of three warring groups; Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats, and Orthodox Serbs.
Actually there is another group that just call themselves Bosnians. These Bosnians are mainly among the younger generations that are trying to rise above ethnic divisions and believe in a future Bosnia of peace. They make up about 20% of the population.
First of all the religious titles placed in front of each group is nationalist not necessarily spiritual. Mosques and church buildings are mainly monuments in the communities and not regularly attended. Operation World (http://www.operationworld.org/bosn) reports just over 2,000 evangelicals.
1) Because of ethnic divisions in Bosnia Herzegovina, let us pray for peace in the cities, in the villages and all government entities.
2) Let us pray for those that are pursuing peace through identifying themselves as Bosnians. May they be able to rise above the titles and ethnocentric bondages that have created disunity.
3) There was a time during Solomon’s reign that Israel had peace on all sides. Lord, we pray for men and women of wisdom to be promoted into the government sphere. May trouble-makers and divisive people be exposed and justice rendered.
4) Let us pray for the promotion of events, festivals and holidays that include all ethnic groups.
5) Let’s pray that the evangelical churches would not be guilty of promoting division but seek ways to bring neighbors together.
6) Not only did the population drop because of the war displacement but many young people are leaving Bosnia to pursue careers in other nations. This trend does not help the nation so let us pray for opportunities for young adults to stay in Bosnia.
7) God can use this diaspora, and bless them wherever they go. Let us pray they will settle into caring, loving Christian communities. May their ear hear the voice of the Lord in a foreign land. I am confident, Lord; many will be burdened to return to Bosnia Herzegovina with the Good News.
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