Romania - (Europa)

Información sobre Romania

238391 kilómetros cuadrados
Romanian Orthodox 70%, Roman Catholic 6% (of which 3% are Uniate), Protestant 6%, unaffiliated 18%
Cristianos (%)
Protestantes (%)
Reformados (%)

The history of the Ref churches in Transylvania is closely connected with the history of the Ref churches in Hungary (cf. Hungary). At an early date (1541-1550) the the Reformation took roots in the Hungarian-speaking population. Though various influences were at work, Ref theology soon began to dominate. In 1559 the Synod of Márosvasarhely adopted the Ref teaching on the Lord’s Supper, and in 1564 the Ref and Luth churches separated. In 1577 the Second Helvetic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism became official teaching. The princes of Transylvania favored the Reformation and sought to guarantee through laws the peaceful coexistence of the Ref, Luth, and RCath churches. In 1604 Istvan Bosckai (1557-1606), Ref prince of Transylvania, went to war to defend the religious rights of the Prot and obtained from the emperor the recognition of his reign in Transylvania. Throughout the 17th century the Ref Church could freely live and develop. In 1622 the first theological academy was established.
In the 18th century Transylvania was incorporated into the Hapsburg empire. Many difficulties arose, but the Ref church was able to maintain its integrity and to defend the spiritual identity of the people. One of the significant figures of this period was Peter Bod, pastor, historian, and encyclopedist. In the middle of the 19th century the Ref church identified with the liberation struggle from the Hapsburg empire, hoping for a new Christian and democratic order. In 1867 Transylvania once more became part of Hungary. In 1895 the theological school of Kolozsvár was opened. The church enjoyed a period of growth: churches were built and schools opened.
A new period began with the end of World War I, when Transylvania became part of Romania. The Hungarian-speaking population in Transylvania became a minority within the Romanian-speaking Orthodox majority. Between World Wars I and II the church experienced spiritual renewal. The leading figure during this time was Bishop Sandor Makkai (1926-1936). After a brief period of reintegration into Hungary (1940-1944), Transylvania returned to Romania. Four decades of Communist rule followed. All public institutions of the church were confiscated and church life limited to worship in church buildings. Especially in the late ’50s and early ’60s many pastors were imprisoned; several died or were executed. Admission of candidates for pastoral training was severely curtailed. While in the ’70s and ’80s the bishops collaborated with the state authorities, many pastors and church members suffered violation of their rights.
The fall of the Communist regime brought to the church in Romania, on the one hand, more freedom, on the other, new challenges and opportunities. More than 120 new buildings have been constructed or are in construction, among them about 30 new churches, a diaconal center, conference and youth centers, orphanages, old people’s homes, and parish buildings. High expectations are placed on the church. At the same time, however, the church continues to face the difficulties of being a linguistic, cultural, and political minority. The major problems are that the buildings, e.g., schools, as well as other goods expropriated during the Communist regime, have not yet been returned and that religious education has not been restored as requested by the churches.
The Reformed Church of Romania is organized in two districts — the Transylvanian District and the District of Oradea. They have a common synod for legislative purposes but two independent administrations.



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