Finger pointing begins over Moldova election riots

By April 9, 2009

Moldova (MNN) — When Moldova's
election results went to the Communist Party, protesters claimed the process
was rigged. 

Moldova's ruling Communist Party,
the first communists to win power in the former Soviet Union, swept weekend
legislative elections by winning about half the vote.

Riots in the capital provoked
strong response from the new government and from protesters.

Police have regained control, but
not before Moldova recalled its ambassador to Romania, and not before Russia
got involved.

foreign ministry says the riots undermined the sovereignty of the former Soviet
State. Meanwhile, the Moldovan president
accused Romania of stirring the unrest in the capital this week. Romania rejected the accusation as a

Mission Network News spoke with a
missionary serving with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Moldova. For security purposes, we'll call him "Reed."

Moldova is Europe's poorest
state, with 4.3 million people. Against
that backdrop, Reed says, "I spoke to several people who said they could not
stand another four years of this regime and that they were planning to leave
the country and look for work elsewhere."

Unlike the revolutions of Georgia
and Ukraine, the protests seemed to be a spontaneous reaction to the election
result, Reed notes. It spread through
word of mouth and messages over the internet and mobile phones. The main opposition parties were quick to
distance themselves, saying they had no major role in the protests.

The youth of the protesters
reflected the generation gap. Reed says,
"Most had put their hope for a future on
the election, and they were expecting radical change. When that didn't happen, a
lot of them were quite frustrated." 

Border closures forced the
cancellation of a ministry retreat this weekend with Moldovan and Romanian
college students.  

Reed says this might not be the
first venture to be jeopardized. "With the collaboration and the assistance that the Romanian
churches have been offering the Moldovan churches and Moldovan ministries, if
this continues long-term–this animosity toward Europe and Romania, then there
will be a lot of effects on many different ministry projects."

Keep praying for the ministry
teams in this region as they work to put hope before the disillusioned. Pray for wisdom and boldness for believers.

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