The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Life struggles in Vojvodina

City has become a magnet for migrants

Despite experiencing economic woes since the end of the Yugoslav federation, Vojvodina is still a prosperous region of the Republic of Serbia, said Vladislav Iviciak, a Lutheran pastor who directs the Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization. It has "energy resources, fertile ground that is underutilized [and] hot springs," he said.

With its relative prosperity, Vojvodina has become a magnet for migrants, including Roma and others, he added. Yet they don't necessarily find hoped-for employment.

Arden Haug (in black); Igor Feldi,
Arden Haug (in black); Igor Feldi, a Lutheran pastor; and Mary Burce Warlick, the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Serbia and the daughter of Lutheran missionaries, greet worshipers on Pentecost Sunday at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stara Pazova.

"Poverty is rapidly increasing," Iviciak said. "Current data [shows] that each day about 400 people are losing their jobs in Serbia. ... In Vojvodina it is 70 per day. A lot of unfair privatization has taken place. The government has been selling good enterprises and those firms are bought by tycoons."

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