Church History
Croatia: Overview

“Croatia: Overview,” Global Histories: Croatia (2019)

“Croatia: Overview,” Global Histories: Croatia

map of Croatia

A Brief History of the Church in



In the early 1900s, a few Croatian converts who had joined the Church abroad returned to share the gospel in their country. John Stosich (also known as Janko Stošić), who was baptized in the United States, preached as a missionary in Zagreb in 1911. Eviza Arbić Vujičić, who was baptized in Hungary, returned to Yugoslavia when it became a country in 1918, and she kept the faith in relative isolation until her death in 1937.

In 1971 another Croatian joined the Church abroad: basketball player Krešimir Ćosić embraced the restored gospel while a student at Brigham Young University. Later, over the course of his professional basketball career in Croatia, he followed Christ’s call to “let your light … shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Ćosić helped translate the Book of Mormon into Serbo-Croatian, and he also helped secure permission for missionaries to enter the country.

The first branch in Croatia was organized in 1974 in Ćosić’s hometown of Zadar. The Church continued to spread to other cities, and a district was formed in 1980, with headquarters in Zagreb. In 2012 nearly 400 people from Croatia and its neighboring countries gathered near Zadar to commemorate the local history of the Church and to train leaders for its future.

Quick Facts

  • Official Name: Republic of Croatia/Republika Hrvatska

  • Capital: Zagreb

  • Largest City: Zagreb

  • Official Languages: Croatian

  • Land Area: 56,594 km2 (21,851 mi2)

  • Church Area: Europe

  • Missions: 1 (Part of the Adriatic North Mission)

  • Congregations: 6