Romania (MNN) ― Austerity measures have again claimed another government -- this time in Romania. Romania's government collapsed Monday following weeks of protests against the cuts. Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc resigned on Monday, joining a list of European leaders who have faced similar fates. Boc, who has been prime minister since 2008, said he was quitting his post to defuse the salary cuts, higher taxes, and the widespread perception that the government was not interested in the public's hardships in this nation of 22 million.
President Traian Basescu replaced Boc with foreign intelligence service head Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu to form a new cabinet. Ungureanu quickly pledged to continue the unpopular economic reforms, which are backed by the International Monetary Fundy.
How does this affect the evangelical church in Romania? American evangelist Sammy Tippit was one of the first to take the Gospel into Romania follow the revolution 20 years ago. He says, "The protests have been growing for quite some time now, for a couple of weeks. We don't know how this fall-out will affect the church, and we need to be praying."
Will the change in leadership mean a change for the church? Tippit says, "It's too early to know if it's going to affect the laws, or it's just going to affect who is in that position."
Tippit says, "We need to pray that the church would continue to have freedom. Of course, we know when there are economic problem in a nation, it's going to affect the church. It's affected the church in America."
The economic challenges have created another problem, says Tippit. "There has been this exodus of people out of Romania and they've scattered all over Western Europe. They're over there and are very, very poor. And any time you have people having to put their focus on that, it takes away from the Kingdom's work."
The good news: the Romanian church is alive and vibrant. Tippit believes during these tough economic times and uncertainty, they can make a spiritual difference.