|Croatia: Parliament Limits
tarting in 2009 stores in Croatia must close on Sunday, according to new legislation recently voted by the country’s parliament. The legislation was enacted out of deference to the wishes of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church makes up 90 percent of Croatia's religious population, and the Associated Press reports the church has made its presence felt in the Croatian government with continued lobbying for the passing of Sunday legislation.
The law permits stores in gas, bus and train stations to remain open on Sundays throughout the year. Other business, such as bakeries, newsstands, and flower shops are not included in the ban. The Sunday shopping ban is also lifted during the summer and for winter holidays.
Local Adventist church leaders expressed concern over the ruling. Sretko Kuburic, secretary for the church in the Adriatic region, said while the legislation could have future consequences, the law shouldn't be viewed as the end of civil liberties. Kuburic also said the church should continue to monitor the situation after the law takes effect on January 1.
The Adventist Church has supported religious liberty around the world since it launched what is now the International Religious Liberty Association in 1893. The organization has grown into the world's largest forum on religious freedom.
Currently, about 3,000 Adventists live in Croatia, a nation of 4.5 million people.
-–Adventist News Network