Week of Dec. 29, 2014 - Jan. 4,2015
Josipovic in Narrow Lead in Croatian Presidential Polls
Incumbent president Ivo Josipovic leads by just 1.5 per cent in first round of Croatian presidential elections, held amid a continuing economic crisis in the newest EU state.
Much prayer is needed for this Government. The Croatian economy is struggling as Croatia continues the process of full integration into the European Union. Present statistics are grim with 19.2% unemployment overall and 41.5% unemployment among the youth.
On a positive note, there has been some forward movement in government / church relations. With Croatia being a predominately Catholic nation the government has generally catered to their concerns and turned a blind eye to evangelicals and other denominations. But there has been a change in 2014 as the following report announces.
Pastor Mario Ducic, with Croatian Christian Coalition, in September 2014 filed this report about the legal battle him and two other pastors fought:
AFTER YEARS OF FIGHTING legal battles, meeting with politicians, participating in television debates, and holding protests, we are excited to announce that last Friday we finally signed a contract with the Government of the Republic of Croatia! This contact secures for us the right to hold meetings in prisons and hospitals, hold catechism in the public schools, and legally conduct weddings. We will also receive an annual donation from Government. What is important to note is that in the contract it states that the State has no right to dictate the beliefs or practices of the church.
We will now move forward to legalize homeschooling in Croatia. Please join us in prayer for this, as many families in Croatia would like to have this option for their children.
Added Note: A few days ago, Ivo Josipovic visited the Christmas Day service of the largest Evangelical church in Zagreb.
1) Let us pray for the various spheres of government in Croatia. May God give the government wisdom to face the many challenges boldly and with the best interest of the people.
2) The government needs men and women that understand the times, do not bow to corruption and can formulate sound policies. Pray for ethical, moral statesmen to be raised up.
3) Unemployment creates a burden for the people. Let us pray that new policies would encourage entrepreneurial endeavors which will result in many new jobs.
4) Let us thank the Lord for intervening in the affairs of state to bring about equality legislation for all religious institutions. Let us pray that religious freedom be set in as a solid policy of the Croatian Constitution.
5) Let us pray for Pastors and church leaders who sacrifice their time and energy to press forward the issue of religious freedom. May many more Christians be encouraged to get involved in government.
Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
Psalm 2:10-12 (NKJV)
6) We see the president’s visit to an Evangelical Church as a positive step on many levels. Let us pray that this would result in more Christians praying for the president and his administration and that the government would be more attentive to the needs of Evangelicals.