The Croatian government on Thursday decided to allocate 3.375 million kuna (€450,000) for the construction of a Croatian chapel in Bethlehem and thus granted a request made by Conventual Franciscans in Zagreb.
The chapel will be built in Shepherd’s Field in Bethlehem and will honour Croatian saints and Croatians who have been blessed.
This site of worship will give a strong contribution to improving the international recognisability of Croatia and its positioning in Israel and worldwide, the government says in a press release in which it highlights that the Catholic Church is “an integral component of the Croatian past and is intertwined in the national identity of Croatians as well as in the spiritual and cultural development of Croatian society.”
There are plans for the construction of six chapels in the said area of Bethlehem.
The Custody of the Holy Land has donated the land to the city of Bethlehem, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said today.
All the necessary building permits for the Croatian chapel have been issued, and the project is estimated at €450,000, while the interior of the chapel will be decorated with paintings and artworks donated by Croatian artists, Grlic-Radman said.
Friar Sandro Tomasevic, a clergyman in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, said in his statement for Hina that he was happy with the government’s decision and described the construction of the Croatian chapel among six nations in Bethlehem as a great success.
“It is a great thing for the whole homeland, particularly for our faithful and pilgrims,” the priest said.
The construction material for the chapel, that is stones, timber and other materials, will be transported from Croatia to Israel.