COLDA, Teodor-Ioan. ‘Utopia libertății religioase în România postbelică. Baptiștii din România în perioada de tranziție de la Monarhie la Republică (1945-1953) II / The Utopia of Religious Freedom in Postbelic Romania. Romanian Baptists in transition from Monarchy to Republic (1945-1953) II.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 13, Nr 1 (2014): 157-189.
Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest; Academic Visitor Attached to Ballioll College, University of Oxford
In this paper the author tries to give a fair description and interpretation of the life of Baptist Churches in the period of transition from Monarchy to Republic in postbellic Romania, based on many unprecedented archive documents. The main focus of the paper is the problem of religious freedom in this very shifty period. Because of the persecution endured between the two world wars and during the nationalist and fascist regime of Antonescu, the self proclaimed absolute leader of Romania between 1940 and 1944, the Romanian Baptists tried to cope with the new situation established in their country at the end of the war, which seemed to be far better than before. Religious freedom was granted for all, first by His Royal Majesty King Michael and afterwards by the communists who managed to force the King into exile and transformed Romania into a republic. Though the communists were granting religious freedom through a new constitution they weren’t really committed to the idea of freedom, because of their proletarian revolutionary believes. This reluctance to offer religious freedom was encouraged by historical precedents in which the Orthodox Church managed to drive the state into a sinister partnership of persecuting those who were considered sects, dangerous for an Orthodox nation. In these circumstances, and tired from being persecuted, Baptist leaders and Baptist churches were forced into an unusual relationship with the communists. First it seemed that there couldn’t be any wrong or any danger in having a relationship with the state which is willing to grant religious freedom even for religious minorities. But in an atheistic and communist state religious freedom becomes a utopia.
Keywords: Baptist, Orthodox, Church, State, Persecution, Communism, Second World War
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