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The Eastern Catholic Churches / Greek Catholic Church in Croatia and Serbia

Greek Catholic Church in Croatia and Serbia

Number of faithfulapprox. 44,000
Title of First HierarchBishop of Križevci
See of the First HierarchZagreb (Croatia)
Current incumbentBishop Milan Stipić, born 1978, in office since 2020
Bishops and dioceses2 bishops; 2 dioceses
Liturgical languageChurch Slavonic, Croatian, Serbian
Presence in Austria1 priest
Presence in Germanyunknown

The Greek Catholic Church in Croatia and Serbia dates back to the Union of Marča (1611). At that time, the Marča Monastery was the center of pastoral care for the so-called Uskoks, refugees of the Orthodox faith from the areas of Southeast Europe conquered by the Ottomans. They had been settled by the Habsburgs as military farmers in the border area between the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires. For the refugees, the union meant a chance to integrate in their new homeland. The Uniate faithful were, initially, assigned to a vicariate of the diocese of Zagreb. It was not until 1777, under Empress Maria Theresa, that an independent diocese was founded for them, with the former Jesuit college in Križevci (north-east of Zagreb) becoming the episcopal see.

In the 20th century, all Greek Catholic faithful in Yugoslavia belonged to the Diocese of Križevci. After the collapse of Yugoslavia, individual areas were separated from the eparchy: in 2001 an apostolic exarchate for the Greek Catholics in North Macedonia was founded, in 2003 an apostolic exarchate for Serbia and Montenegro. The latter became a separate eparchy in 2018 entitled “St. Nicholas of Ruski Krstur” based in Novi Sad (Serbia). Today, the Greek Catholic faithful in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina belong to the Eparchy of Križevci, whose bishop resides in Zagreb. Both dioceses now have around 22,000 faithful each


  • E. Chr. Suttner, Staaten und Kirchen in der Völkerwelt des östlichen Europa. Entwicklungen der Neuzeit, Fribourg/CH 2007, 352-355.
  • N. Ikić, Der Begriff Union im Entstehungsprozess der unierten Diözese von Marča (Križevci), St. Ottilien 1989.