Romanian Adventists Mobilize for Religious Freedom
As Romanian legislators consider changes to the national constitution, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is sponsoring a mass promotion of religious liberty with a marathon of town hall meetings, university lectures, and interfaith consultations.
In the Eastern European nation, where more than 85 percent of the population identifies with the Eastern Orthodox faith, Adventists are aiming to promote to key audiences the importance of religious liberty. The self-titled “Freedom Caravan 2013” of church and legal experts held events in more than 20 cities.
“Even though Romania has taken important steps in promoting religious liberty, we must stay alert to make sure that the principles of religious liberty stay untainted,” said Nelu Burcea, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director for the Adventist Church’sRomanian Union Conference.
Prominent changes to the constitution could include revising the president’s role and the prime minister’s method for nominating the president.
But a few activists are also calling for the Orthodox Church to become the national religion. Though experts say this proposal isn’t likely to become law, Romania’s constitution up until 1923 did mention the Orthodox Church as the country’s official church. Various attempts over the years to reinstate the church as the state religion were rejected by parliament.
Media reports indicate that a national referendum on constitutional changes won’t take place until autumn.
“We are now analyzing each proposal, and we are monitoring the situation so that we can have a prompt reaction and appropriate action if necessary,” Burcea said.
—reported by Adventist News Network