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European Journal

Croatia: Power Struggle between Church and State

In new EU member Croatia, the on-going conflict between the Catholic Church and the leftist liberal government is taking on tones of a culture war.

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Whether it's about sex education in schools, or same-sex partnerships, Croatia's Catholic Church hasn't missed an opportunity to challenge the government. The church had a powerful influence on the day-to-day activities of the former conservative government. But for the last two years, Croatia has had a government that's been at odds with the country's conservative Catholics. Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic is an avowed atheist and President Ivo Josipovic is an agnostic. The new government wants to steer Croatia towards secular modernity.