The following update is based on reports filed by correspondents Alan Scarfe and Robert D. Linder. Both have traveled in Romania and maintain contacts with Christian workers there. Scarfe is on the staff of the Keston College Center for the Study of Religion and Communism, located in the London suburbs, and Linder is a history professor at Kansas State University.

Romanian evangelical churches are increasing their membership at a rapid rate. In some parts the descriptive word is “revival.” In the northern city of Oradea, pastor Liviu Olah has seen his Baptist congregation grow from 600 to 1,500 members within a year. (Young people, especially students, are reportedly seeking to meet at every opportunity to study the Bible together and to pray despite intensifying pressure against religion in the universities—or perhaps because of it.)

The interest in theological training is high. The Orthodox Church accommodates 1,200 students in its university-level theological institutes, plus many more at seminary level. The Baptist seminary in Bucharest this year had ten times more applications than it could accept.

Interest in the Gospel on the part of young people spans the country. Nicknamed “the Revival People,” young people in many locales are extremely aggressive in their witnessing, and this has cost some of them any opportunity they might have had to attend a university. But alongside the youth at mass baptisms one sees older couples, too. And many entire families of Gypsies are active in the spiritual movement.

All this evangelical activity has disturbed Communist authorities, and it has not been without cost. In the fall of 1973, both state and church were challenged by a paper written by Baptist pastor Josif Ton of Ploesti on ...

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