A total of HRK 1.5 million was set aside in the state budget for scholarships for undergraduate and graduate university study for young persons persecuted for their faith so that they would be able to study in Croatia, gain knowledge and then return to their home country, where they will help to build their communities and democratic and tolerant society. The money will be used for their study and accommodation during their studies in Croatia.
The ministries will analyze the applications for scholarships, evaluate them and then decide which candidates will be awarded a scholarship for the 2021/2022 academic year, in accordance with the available funds.
The money for the Croatian scholarships for young persecuted Christians was ensured in the state budget on the basis of an amendment to this year’s state budget submitted by independent MP Marijana Petir and accepted in November 2020.
Marijana Petir told Hina that the number of candidates “exceeds all expectations”.
According to Petir, data of organizations that follow trends in religious freedoms show that Christians are exposed to discrimination and persecution, so such a large number of applications for Croatian scholarships is not surprising.
She recalled that the pontifical foundation Aid to Church in Need had presented the 15th edition of the Religious Freedom in the World Report, for the 2018-2020 period, which had shown that out of the 196 countries analyzed, human freedoms were seriously violated in 62 of them. In 30 countries, people were killed for religious reasons.
“The report shows that the right to freedom of religion is being violated in one of three countries, and it is estimated that about 67% of the world population, or 5.2 billion people, live in countries where there are serious restrictions on religious freedom,” Petir said.
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