After the breathtaking events of December 1989, which culminated in the overthrow of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, evangelicals in Romania were optimistic about their future. Organizing quickly, they stepped boldly into new roles to help shape their new nation.
But evangelicals now find themselves struggling to survive in a declining economy, battling a divided government, and dressing the wounds of an increasing rivalry between ethnic factions.
One of the biggest challenges facing Romania’s newly elected government in the past year has been shepherding Romania’s first democratic constitution through the 199-member Parliament. However, according to Aggie Cooperman, a U.S. Embassy officer in Bucharest, “there is great disappointment that the government has chosen not to seek the help of noted scholars such as Albert Blaustein. There is a sense that the [National Salvation] Front doesn’t know what to do.”
Blaustein, Rutgers University law professor and president of the Philadelphia Constitutional Foundation, says he is concerned about religious freedom articles in the proposed constitution and feels they pose a threat to religious freedom in Romania.
Elected in certifiably free elections, the ruling National Salvation Front itself is groping for answers in a rapidly dividing country. The party, led by President Ion Eliescu, stoic party member of the Ceausescu era, is viewed with suspicion by many, seeing little difference between it and the Communist party that preceeded it.
According to Paul Negrut, president of the Evangelical Alliance of Romania, which represents nearly 600,000 evangelicals, recent flip-flops by the government on draft articles of the constitution, as well as the general ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more