Photo credit: Trans-European Division

Trans-Europe

Životi Zdravlje Celebrates 100 Years

Healthful living magazine faithfully shares hope in Croatia through the printed word

Croatia | Vanesa Pizzuto and Neven Klačmer

At the 45th International Book Fair in Zagreb, Croatia, Životi Zdravlje (“Life and Health”) magazine began a year-long celebration of its centennial. The festivities commenced with a special panel discussion about the magazine’s history, led by Mario Sijan, Publishing director for the Croatian Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, alongside Tihomir Brkic, MD, Nevenka Brandt Milovanovic, Miroslav Didara, editor-in-chief of Znaci Vremena (“Signs of the Times”), and Miso Havran, Health director for the conference. The event also included the release of a special free issue.

“We are delighted to witness the way God has guided us and developed His work in Croatia through Životi Zdravlje,” reflected Sijan. “It is not only read by church members but also distributed in city libraries nationwide, sold online, and found in hairdressing salons and shops throughout the country with great feedback.”

The inaugural issue of Životi Zdravlje rolled off the printing press in 1924. Commenting on the magazine’s journey, Slobodan Bobo Marceta, Croatian Conference president, remarked, “In the rearview mirror, we can witness nearly a century of the magazine. This signifies a 100-year mission dedicated to promoting a holistic health approach for the Croatian people.”

According to Marceta, Životi Zdravlje plays a pivotal role “when reaching out to a society that may sometimes hold prejudice towards smaller religious groups.” The magazine empowers members to share a message “now more relevant than ever, as people are increasingly interested in exploring well-being and health.”

“All our writers contribute on a volunteer basis,” explained Didara, but he also expressed thanks to key partners in the success: Croatian church members. “Our church members are one of the main distribution sources for the magazine. While we utilize other channels, our members are the most effective at getting this magazine in the hands of those who will benefit most. Our members enjoy sharing the magazine because they have something tangible in their hands to share, as part of their personal ministry and witness for Christ.”

The celebrations will extend throughout the year with a series of events, including a health expo in Zagreb. For now, those present at the book fair took home a complimentary copy of Životi Zdravlje and will enjoy a free one-year subscription.

A Brief History of the Magazine

Životi Zdravlje was founded in 1924. Its first editor, Albin Močnik, was followed by Sigfried Ludevig and Mirko Golubić. Initially published with a print run of 10,000 copies, the magazine aimed to convey that adhering to God’s principles of health could lead to an improved life. Unfortunately, the onset of World War II halted its circulation after roughly two decades; subsequent attempts to restart publication faced bans and challenges.

In 1972, Životi Zdravlje made a triumphant return to circulation under the leadership of Velimir Šubert and Slavko Čop as editors. With its rebirth, the magazine became available in six languages in an A4 format, resulting in a much wider distribution of 20,000–40,000 copies per edition. The publication continued its flourishing journey for another two decades until the eruption of the Homeland War in Croatia. In the aftermath of the conflict, dedicated enthusiasts courageously initiated the magazine’s revival, marking its third resurgence.

In 2014, with the support of generous donors and volunteers, the Health Department of the Croatian Conference restarted its circulation. Under the leadership of editor-in-chief Nevenka Blažić-Čop and executive editor Miroslav Đidara, the magazine attained new heights, transitioning into full-color printing, adopting a B4 format, and once again reaching circulation levels of 20,000 copies per edition.

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division website.

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