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Croatia, United Methodist Church*

Contact: Supt. Wilfried Nausner
Other Debarca 9 Skopje MK-1000 MacedoniaWork Phone: 43 664 7375 8905
Photo of Croatia, United Methodist Church*

Beginning in Zagreb 1923, various missionary initiatives worked to build Methodist congregations in Croatia. This work was carried out in the Serbo-Croat language, in contrast to the Vojvodina region (now part of Serbia), where there were many thriving German-speaking and Hungarian-speaking congregations at the beginning of the 20th century. The missionary efforts in Croatia were, however, not particularly successful, and were eventually discontinued. On the other hand, the Methodist Church maintained various congregations in Istria (e.g.  in Pula), which belonged to Italy. But when Istria became part of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia in 1947, this work, too, was discontinued. In the nineties, UMCOR, the relief agency of the worldwide UMC, requested the United Methodist Bishop for Croatia to send a pastor to the war-damaged country, taking care of the many local workers. In 1995 a native Croatian who had studied in Germany and his wife moved to Split, Croatia. A cooperation with UMCOR could never be achieved, but in Split, they began to approach people with a message of hope and with deeds of love. Through their efforts, and often through seemingly coincidental encounters, a network of relationships sprouted. From this, a small congregation developed. Still, in an environment that is almost exclusively Roman Catholic, missionary work was very difficult, and in spite of the tireless efforts of the leaders, the work remained small. After many conversations it was finally decided to discontinue the congregational work of Split UMC in October 2010, which means that there is no official congregational work in Croatia anymore.