Croatia

8 06 2016

Located in Europe, Croatia  is a Crescent-shaped country of 4.5 million people.  It is 91% Christian (primarily Catholic and Orthodox).  It is situated between the Danube River and the Adriatic Sea. It is a part of the Balkan States.

Capital: Zagreb (687,000)

Economy: “Long-term Communist mismanagement and the war with Serbs undermined a previously solid economy. Recovery is still in process, with relatively high unemployment and low wages. A resurgent tourist sector and the privatization of state industries have helped Croatia begin to turn the corner and develop over the last decade” (Operation World, p. 289).

Hatred: Some 1,600 years of rivalry between the Croat and Serb peoples, and their mutual hatred of one another was one of the potent factors in the terrible, horrifying Balkan wars of the 1990’s. “The iron bond shackling ethnicity to religion also hampers progress and stifles spiritual breakthrough” (Operation World). Forgiveness and love are of course keys to reconciliation and renewed trust.

Religion: Christian 91.6%, Non-Religious 6.01%, Muslim 1.9%, Jewish 0.10%, Hindu 0.02%, Buddhist 0.01%

Challenge to Prayer: Of the large Christian population some 87% are Catholic, and while there is a small but active Charismatic movement among them, and some very good Catholic leaders, it is sadly a nation where nominalism and empty rituals abound. According to Operation World, ‘Evangelicals are one of the few groups that straddle the ethnic divide. Many Bosnians, Croats and Serbs have been won to Christ and brought into the fellowship together.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the gospel of grace spreading amidst a damaged society. Where the young people have little confidence for their future, and amidst high unemployment, may the Spirit of the Risen Lord bring renewed hope, and a desire for development and community, as the plan of God for creation, gives fresh impetus to rebuild the nation.

Part of the Balkan Peninsula:

It is difficult to obtain universal agreement on which nations belong to ‘the Balkans’. Most would include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro,Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Parts of Greece and Turkey are sometimes owned as belonging to the mix.

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See details re Bosnia, also: https://nwcc.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/bosnia/

 

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British Indian Ocean Territory

6 02 2013

This is mainly the Chagos Archipelago in the central Indian Ocean. It refers however, to 55 islands across 54,000 sq km of ocean.

Population: 2, 000

(At present approximately 4,000 US and UK military personnel as well as civilian private contractors (mostly from Mauritius and Philippines).

Politics:

“The original islanders were removed to Mauritius to make way for opening the island of Diego Garcia as a strategic US/UK military base. Financial compensation was paid to both Mauritius and the Chagossians. Resettlement back to Diego Garcia is complicated due to the US’s exclusive military lease of the island from the UK government, which administers the territory. Although the UK High Court granted the islanders the right of return in 2006 in 2008 the UK government appealed this decision and the UK House of Lords upheld the appeal Islanders still cannot return to their traditional homelands.”  * Operation World, [Ed.] Jason Mandryk, p. 169  (See under Mauritius).

It would appear that a large injustice is being perpetuated here in the Indian Ocean, but the UK Government.

Recent Headline: “Britain must end its sordid treatment of the Chagossian people now” (Geoffrey Robertson).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/08/britain-end-sordid-treatment-chagossian-people

Prayer: Gracious Father, Lord of all Nations, we pray for the original people of Chagos Island, that they may have their homeland restored to them, and that, by the Spirit’s influence upon them, the British parliament will act justly and fairly towards them. May the power of the Risen Christ be at work in their midst. Amen.

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A Chagossian and his final coconut harvest, photographed at the time of the first United States encampment (1971).

The following is taken from Wikipedia:

People:

The Chagossian people’s ancestry is mostly of African heritage, particularly coming fromMadagascarMozambique and other African nations including Mauritius. There is also a significant proportion of Indian and Malay ancestry.[1][full citation needed] The French brought some to the Chagos islands as slaves from Mauritius in 1786. Others arrived as fishermen, farmers, and coconut plantation workers during the 19th century.

The Chagossians speak Chagossian Creole, a mix of Indigenous languages and French-based creole language and part of the Bourbonnais Creole family. Chagossian Creole is still spoken by some of their descendants in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Chagossian people living in the UK speak English.

The Archipelago later passed to the control of the United Kingdom and came to form part of theColony of Mauritius.

 








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