Romania (MNN) — There are a lot of protests hopping onto the international scene, and Romania is no exception. Romania’s prime-minister-hopeful, Liviu Dragnea, was accused of stealing money from the government. His party then passed an emergency law just over two weeks ago decriminalizing offenses by government officials involving about $50,000 or less. That’s when the protests started.
Raluca Cardos works with Operation Mobilization in Romania, and she gives some further insight into the background of the situation.
“What made people angry was the way this law was released. It was released at midnight as an emergency law, which it was not the case. So people think it was released as an emergency law because this leader of the party that is now governing wanted to be the prime minister, but because he was judged for acts of corruption, he couldn’t do that. So he tried to get out of this act of corruption by putting pressure on his people to release such a law that will free him so he could take the prime minister role. Of course, he denies it publicly, but people really don’t believe it. So that’s the background of the situation.”
The law has since been repealed, but protesters are demanding more. “Some people resigned,” says Cardos. “But the [current] prime minister and this leader who we’re talking about, they’re still in their positions and people are still out in the streets protesting against them as they should be released from their roles after…what they’ve done.”
These protests over the last two weeks are the largest Romania has seen since the revolution in 1989.
“The first day of protests gathered about 300,000 people all around the country, and one week afterwards last Sunday, there were 600,000 people on the streets protesting. It’s still going on and that puts a lot of pressure on everybody since they keep going on and people don’t want to give up these requests.”
One thing to note about these protests is they’ve remained peaceful, for the most part — a stark contrast from the last time Romania saw such widespread demonstrations. Cardos explains, “They want to show that we are a different country than we’ve been in ‘89 when the army had to interfere and many people had lost their lives back then in the revolution. So people want to prove that Romania has changed, that Romania has been fighting to become better.”
But the most notable thing is how Romanian Christians have been responding — with the power of prayer.
“Especially the evangelical churches, the youth in the bigger cities — after the people that were protesting went home in the evenings — they would gather in the city centers and would pray for the country and for the government and for the people in power, that they will really rule the country in a godly manner. Many churches have been really fasting, gathering especially for prayers.”
Please join our Christian brothers and sisters in Romania in praying for justice and peace – politically, socially, and spiritually.
“Pray for us that this will come to an end and that Romania will be a peaceful country where God will be put first, even in the politics…. I just want to thank you so much for being involved and just getting out the news and being there for us in prayer and just being concerned for our country. It means a lot for us to know that we’re not alone in this battle, that we have good friends even over the ocean that are battling this fight with us.”
As for Operation Mobilization in Romania, their focus is to press forward in the Great Commission. Although the evangelical population in Romania is small at only six percent, OM wants to equip the Romanian Church to be a launchpad for widespread spiritual change in the name of Christ.
“Where these protests are concerned, we are not involved in any way. We are just a missionary organization that tries to equip and mobilize the evangelical churches for worldwide missions. As a country that has gone through communism, Operation Mobilization has been a big, major blessing for us during those hard times. And even after, when we had freedom, they have helped us a lot to develop the evangelical churches and the mindset of Christianity, which was so suppressed under the communism,” says Cardos.
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We’re praying for the country, particularly the small number of believers, and planning to go encourage them in a tangible way this summer.