Authors: Mira Lulic and Nives Mazur Kumric
The roots of armed conflicts that spread over the territory of the Former Yugoslavia in 1990's had been largely connected to the religious differences between members of the Orthodox Church (Serbs and Montenegrins), the Catholic Church (Croats) and Muslims (Bosniaks). During a time of war in the involved States (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro), the media significantly contributed to spreading hatred and intolerance among religious groups. In the post-war period, the situation has gradually improved, so nowadays, there is a complex network of laws and rules intended to protect and respect the rights of religious minorities in Croatia. Moreover, a wide range of laws regulate the rights of religious minorities' access to the Croatian public television and radio. However, despite a well-defined legal framework, religious minorities continue to be dissatisfied with the way the media deal with religion and relevant issues in practice. Their plea for impartial and neutral media is easy to undarstand if we take into consideration the fact that the media have an utmost importance in raising public awarness in the area of rights of religious minorities, the improvement of their status and tolerance of majority population in that respect.
Keywords: religious minorities, media, Croatia