Sunday, 19 April 2020

Serb Orthodox Dignitaries Hold Easter Service in Zagreb

ZAGREB, April 19, 2020 - During his sermon in Zagreb on Sunday on the occasion of Easter observed in line with the Julian calendar, the Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana Porfirije called on the faithful to cease being afraid, as Jesus Christ defeated death.

The dignitary also called on human beings, who, he said, have alienated themselves from God, to come back to Him.

The Easter service was held in a chapel in the Serb Orthodox Church spiritual centre. For the first time in the history of the Serb Orthodox community in the city, the service was not held in the Serb Orthodox Church of the Holy Transfiguration in downtown Zagreb which was severely damaged in the 22 March earthquake.

Also, apart from Porfirije and two more priests, there were no worshippers to attend the Mass due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

In his sermon, Porfirije also underlined that "today we are aware that we are not created to hate but to love."

He went on to say that fears felt by human beings are a consequence of the fear of death, however "our Lord defeated death and the fear of death."

During the religious service, the Easter message of the patriarch of the Serb Orthodox Church Irinej was read out.

In that message, Patriarch Irinej called on the faithful to pray to God to save humankind from the current COVID-19 epidemic and other troubles.

He called on believers to think about their Serb Orthodox brethren in Kosovo and Montenegro, who, he said, are exposed to suffering and injustice.

More Easter news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Officials Extend Easter Greetings to Orthodox Believers

ZAGREB, April 18, 2020 - With the traditional greeting "Khristos voskrese!", President Zoran Milanović on Saturday extended best wishes to citizens who celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar.

"The holiday of Easter teaches that, despite all setbacks and hardships, there are always hope and solutions for a better tomorrow if its significance is accepted genuinely and with full faith. May the significance of this, the biggest Christian holiday be an incentive to seek new strength for personal growth and to us all an incentive to better cooperation, mutual understanding and tolerance," the president said.

Recalling the responsibility of all citizens for the creation of a functioning society which respects dialogue and diversity, he wished that believers who celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar spend it merrily and peacefully with their dearest ones.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Saturday extended Easter greetings to believers who celebrate it according to the Julian calendar on his and the government's behalf, wishing them plenty of peace, faith, hope and unity.

"In the spirit of the biggest Christian holiday, which encourages us before all life's challenges, I wish you and your families an abundance of peace, hope and unity. May you spend this Easter time in an atmosphere of solidarity, patience and responsibility," the prime minister wrote in his note, wishing everyone a happy and blessed Easter.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković also extended Easter greetings to Orthodox believers in Croatia on his and parliament's behalf, wishing that the Easter light give them strength, faith, hope, interior peace, health and joy of living.

"The resurrection of Jesus is the basis of the Christian faith and spirituality. It symbolises the victory of life over death, light over darkness, good over evil," he wrote in his note.

At a time when we are faced with a big crisis which has put our way of life to the test and which requires many sacrifices of us so that we can preserve first and foremost our own health and safety, as well as those of our nearer and wider community, the resurrection of Jesus should give us additional life encouragement, Jandroković wrote.

"Therefore, I wish for the Easter light to give you strength, faith, hope, interior peace, health and the joy of living. May it especially encourage you to closeness, solidarity and everyday care for the members of your family, neighbour and all weak and needy persons in our society. Only in that way can we overcome all the current challenges together."

More religion news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Easter Consumption Down 14 %

ZAGREB, April 15, 2020 - Croatian citizens have spent HRK 1.2 billion over the Easter holidays, down 14 percent from last year when they spent 1.4 billion, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

According to the Tax Authority, a turnover of HRK 976 million was generated in trade and HRK 838.3 million in retail between Holy Thursday and Easter Monday.

Although this is a significant fall, these figures show that the economy has not stopped, despite lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus, a HGK official said.

Given that the said figures do not include sales results generated by family farms whose business has significantly increased over the past several weeks, we can conclude that Croatia is dealing with the crisis well and that there is no significant fall in consumption, the HGK official said.

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Archbishop of Zagreb: This Is Time to Distinguish What Is Essential

ZAGREB, April 12, 2020 - The Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanić, said in his Easter message on Saturday that the current experiences underlined truths about man and the world, that people could not have absolute control over creation, and recalled the pope's words that this was a time to distinguish what was essential.

The time preceding this Easter has been remarkably unusual because we live the spread of a disease which affects our country and the whole world and which has brought the regular course of life to a halt as well insecurity, Cardinal Bozanić said in his message via electronic media.

The people of Zagreb and its environs, he added, feel increasingly threatened and uneasy after the devastating earthquake on March 22.

Bozanić recalled Pope Francis's words that this is a time to choose and distinguish what is valuable from what is temporary, to return to what is essential, what withstands life's every test and what is not subject to temporary destruction.

The cardinal said many people had already noticed that the coronavirus pandemic encouraged one to seek meaning.

Disease and disasters such as earthquakes clearly show that man is fragile, he said, adding that this fragility does not apply only to individuals but whole societies.

Bozanić called on the faithful to touch, accept and embrace through prayer those who are ill, their families, those affected by the Zagreb quake, healthcare workers and those who, he said, make it possible to live in difficult circumstances such as charity and social workers, the police, the military, firefighters, media and other services, as well as state officials and volunteers.

"We are called on to protect our own life and the lives of those we encounter, so I call on everyone to responsibly adhere to the instructions on conduct in this special time," he said.

The resurrected Christ encourages us not to be afraid and calls on us to be open to the future, the archbishop of Zagreb said in his message, among other things, wishing a happy Easter to all believers and people of good will.

More Easter news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Only Several Thousand Croats From Abroad Have Come Home for Easter

ZAGREB, April 12, 2020 - Over the past four days only several thousand Croats came home from abroad for the Easter holidays whereas in previous years 170,000 would do so, the head of the national civil protection authority, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, said on Saturday.

Speaking on Nova TV, he said a little over 700 Croats had entered Croatia per day on average over the past four days and that the figure included repatriations organised by the Foreign Ministry.

He said that upon entering the country all were instructed to self-isolate or quarantine in line with COVID-19 protection measures.

He concluded that most Croats abroad had listened to the appeals of the national civil protection authority not to come home for Easter because of the coronavirus epidemic.

More Easter news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

State Officials Offer Best Wishes to Faithful for Easter

ZAGREB, April 11, 2020 - President Zoran Milanović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Saturday issued messages offering their best wishes to believers who celebrate Easter according to the Gregorian calendar.

"To Christian believers the holiday of Easter has always been a time of facing one's own decisions and reconsidering one's own actions, with hope and faith in a new beginning and a better future," Milanović says in his message.

"We are faced with major challenges of today's world and threats that hang over the entire humankind so this is also a time to remind ourselves of the most important religious as well as secular principles of goodness, true love for one's fellow men and respect. Let us recognise and accept those principles as a general message so that we can act in concert to find solutions to the challenges we are all faced with today, and as a lasting inspiration for life in dignity, solidarity and readiness to help our fellow men," Milanović says in his message.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković called in his message on Croatians not to forget about basic human values, be there for one another and continue showing care and understanding for those in need of help.

"We are celebrating Easter in new, special circumstances that have significantly changed our previous way of life. May the spirit of the greatest Christian holiday additionally encourage solidarity, unity and responsibility in overcoming these challenging times. I believe that we will overcome them and by doing so become even stronger and more united," Plenković said in his message.

Offering his best wishes to the faithful for Easter, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković particularly expressed gratitude to medical workers, civil protection staff, police officers, soldiers, firefighters, teachers, shop assistants, transport workers, volunteers and all others who make normal life possible in the current situation, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are celebrating this Easter in new circumstances, caused by the pandemic as well as the strong quake that struct our capital city and its residents. These challenging times instil in many a feeling of vulnerability, loneliness, fear and anxiety. That is why we need, now more than ever, to remind ourselves of the meaning of Easter, which is that by enduring and sacrificing ourselves we reach hope and light that are stronger than threats and unrest," Jandroković said in his message.

More Easter news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Health Minister Urges Croatians to Stay Home for Easter

ZAGREB, April 9, 2020 - Croatian Health Minister Vili Beroš on Thursday called on citizens to stay home during the coming Easter holidays and said that the key to success in fighting the coronavirus epidemic was in their hands.

"The key to success lies in our hands. During these holidays it is more important than ever to stay home. For a healthier future we must act now and we must act decisively," the Minister said at a cabinet meeting while presenting activities taken to curb the epidemic in the past week.

He underscored the additional efforts made to expose fake news on the coronavirus and their consequences.

"False claims about the coronavirus pandemic can put human lives at risk and they further provoke anxiety and fear. Therefore, I call for utmost caution and relying solely on official sources of information," Beroš said.

He also said that there were 1,518,719 infected persons globally, with 88,502 fatalities and 330,589 recoveries.

In Croatia, a total of 13,125 persons have been tested, of whom 1,343 tested positive since 25 February. The percentage of those who have tested positive is 10.11%, Beroš said.

He also presented a graphic illustrating the trends for the number of infected persons in Croatia since the outbreak, which shows that the increase in the number of cases is still linear and that there is no significant increase.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

HBK: By Not Celebrating Mass with Worshippers, Bishops Are Protecting Life

ZAGREB, April 9, 2020 - The spokesman of the Bishops' Conference of Croatia (HBK) said on Wednesday that the bishops' decision not to celebrate Mass in churches with the faithful due to the coronavirus pandemic stemmed from the feeling of co-responsibility for the protection of life at all of its stages.

At the National Civil Protection Authority's press conference, the HBK spokesman Zvonimir Ančić noted that Holy Triduum would start on Thursday evening, describing it as the most solemn part of the liturgical year when Christians remember the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

"This year, we are aware that the celebration is taking place in significantly different circumstances, due to well-known reasons," he stated.

Ančić said that the decision to cancel all Masses, sacraments, and most things pertaining to Church life, was one of the most difficult decisions Croatian bishops had ever had to reach, adding that it stemmed from the feeling of co-responsibility for lives of Christians and all citizens, and from respect for the competence of experts and civil authorities.

The spokesmen emphasised that the decision was reached because we had to take care of each other.

Ančić offered condolences to all families who have lost their loved ones due to the coronavirus epidemic. "To all of you who are following us and watching us I wish a happy and blessed Easter," he said.

Masses and other ceremonies have been broadcast on television and social media since gathering in churches was banned due to the outbreak of the infection.

More news about Catholic Church can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Christian Orthodox Faithful Celebrate Easter

ZAGREB, April 28, 2019 - Christian believers in Croatia who observe the old, Julian calendar were celebrating Easter in their churches and homes across the country on Sunday. In his message to the faithful on the occasion of the greatest Christian holiday, the Serb Orthodox Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana, Porfirije Perić, called on them to forgive one another and thus start changing their lives.

"Brothers and sisters, endless waves of joy and love today wash our souls because the Son of God was raised to life, thus defeating death and bringing meaning to our lives... death was defeated and life triumphs," said Perić.

"We are faced on a daily basis with problems and challenges - terrorism, poverty... Let us embrace one another, forgive one another and thus start transforming our lives," the dignitary said in his message, among other things.

Senior Croatian state officials as well as representatives of the Roman Catholic Church have extended their best wishes to the Christian faithful who celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar.

More news about the Serbian Orthodox Church in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Officials Extend Best Wishes for Orthodox Easter

ZAGREB, April 27, 2019 - Senior Croatian state officials on Friday extended their best wishes to the Christian faithful who celebrate Easter according to the old, Julian calendar. The Orthodox Easter is celebrated this Sunday.

"I extend my best wishes to all Christian Orthodox believers for Easter, the greatest Christian holiday, with the hope that by strengthening the faith, unity and mercy we continue to build a society of understanding and solidarity in our beloved Homeland,” President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said in her message to the Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana, Porfirije Perić, and to all Serb Orthodox Church bishops, priests and believers in Croatia.

In his message, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković wrote: "May the celebration of Christ's resurrection further strengthen your faith, love, hope and joy of life, and may you spend this greatest of Christian holidays in the spirit of unity, devotion and sharing with your fellow men."

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković wrote: "Strengthened by the joy of Easter, we find the common strength and inspiration for living in justice, peace and mutual respect, with the hope of prosperity for all citizens of Croatia."

More Easter news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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