Modern-day Croatia can be traced directly to the Bible with the words Dalmatia and Illyricum.

The country known today as Croatia was formerly known as Illyria until captured by the Romans and renamed Illyricum around second century B.C. Illyricum is mentioned in Romans 15:19 as the northern Mediterranean boundary reaching from Jerusalem where the apostle Paul thoroughly preached the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Illyricum was later split into the provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia, not far from the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Evidently, Titus reached farther north than Paul did when he went to Dalmatia to preach the gospel according to 2 Timothy 4:10.

These two provinces fell to Slavic tribes in the seventh century. Decades later the people living in the region began to call themselves Croats.

Church and croatia

For almost as long as the Catholic Church has existed, it has been the dominant religion of the area. The establishment of Protestant churches has met fierce resistance, even into the twentieth century. The Evangelical Pentecostal Church of Croatia (EPC), with whom the Assemblies of God USA is associated, began when Germans founded its first group in the mid-’30s. From this small beginning, the church grew, multiplying during the Communist era. During the civil war that took place from 1991-1995, EPC’s relief agency, AGAPE, was able to provide desperately needed humanitarian aid and ministry to Croatians and other war refugees.

spiritual realities

While Catholicism remains the dominant religion, it is mainly a cultural/political tradition. Most Croatians have no knowledge or understanding of the Bible. Protestant churches include EPC, the Reformed Church, Baptist, and some Charismatic churches. The EPC has approximately 40 churches, most with congregations of less than 50. The number of evangelical Croatian believers is less than half of one percent. 

Additional Facts About Croatia

  • Capital: Zagreb

  • Area: 21,851 square miles

  • Population: 4.27 million

  • Languages: Croatian (95.6 percent)

  • Government: Parliamentary republic

  • Agriculture: Arable crops (wheat, corn, barley, sugar beet, sunflower, rapeseed, alfalfa, clover); vegetables (potatoes, cabbage onion, tomato, pepper); fruits (apples, plum, mandarins, olives), grapes for wine; livestock (cattle, cows, pigs); dairy products

  • Industry: Chemicals and plastics, machine tools, fabricated metal, electronics, pig iron and rolled steel products, aluminum, paper, wood products, construction materials, textiles, shipbuilding, petroleum and petroleum refining, food and beverages, tourism