Number of Catholics in Bosnia Falls Substantially

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 22, 2018 – The number of Roman Catholics in Bosnia and Herzegovina, most of whom are ethnic Croats, declined by 13,650 to 376,591 in 2017, as a result of continued emigration and negative demographic trends caused by the poor economic situation in the country.

All four Roman Catholic dioceses recorded negative results, according to data from the Catholic Weekly gathered after house blessings early in January.

Figures indicate that 11,371 Catholic Croats emigrated from Bosnia and Herzegovina last year in search of a better life. In the last three years, their number has shrunk by 43,703.

Bishop Tomo Vukšić, who has been following demographic trends for years, has called for urgent action to put a stop to emigration and increase the birth rate. “It is equally important to create an atmosphere of security in Bosnia and Herzegovina, both for individuals and for the country’s nations. It would be good to improve political and legal security because that would also benefit economic development,” the bishop said.

The Church has said that data concerning the number of Catholics in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not complete because not all families are at home during house blessings.

It is estimated that 15 percent of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not Catholic. The 2013 census put the number of Croats at 553,000.


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