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Denver, Colo., Jul 12, 2018 / 03:49 pm (CNA).- On Sunday, France and Croatia will square off on the soccer pitch for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Championship. While most U.S. Catholics are only casual soccer fans, many will join more than 3 billion people around the world who are expected to watch the game.
What team will U.S. Catholics root for as two historically Catholic countries face off?
Comparison - Catholic - Life - History - Culture
If you’re still undecided, perhaps a comparison of the Catholic life, history, and culture of France and Croatia would be helpful:
Time - Jesus - Palestine - Croatia - Rest
During the time Jesus lived in Palestine, Croatia, along with the rest of the Balkan Peninsula, was a part of the Roman Empire- most of it a part of the Roman province of Dalmatia.
Located along the Adriatic Sea, Dalmatia, which was also sometimes referred to as Illyricum, an older Greek name, was home to Roman subjects and their religions from across the Empire. At the time Jesus lived, there was a Jewish population in the region. Some members of the Jewish community became Christians during the earliest periods of Christian evangelization.
Scripture - Records - Titus - Disciple - St
Scripture records that Titus, a disciple of St. Paul, travelled to Dalmatia, and he might have died there. The region is mentioned in St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy.
Some old traditions hold that St. Paul might have gone to Dalmatia too, since he wrote in the Letter to the Romans about visiting “Illyricum,” but it is more likely he was referring to a part of Greece close to modern-day Albania.
People - Region - Century - Religions - Natives
The Croatian people, who migrated to the Dalmatian region in the 6th century, probably followed tribal religions until natives to the region, along with Byzantine and Benedictine missionaries, some from France, converted them to Catholicism. By the 9th century, Croats could be considered a Christian people, and, by the end of that century, Croatian...
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