THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Religion in Romania - The Christianity
The Romanian people was formed, together with the Romanian language, between the first and the seventh centuries A.D. According to the ecclesiastic history, the inhabitants who were lived in the North of the Danube received the Gospels from Apostle Andrew and his disciples, in the first to third centuries A.D. Archaeological testimonies prove that at the end of the fourth century church life was powerful, numerous religious abodes, priests and faithful existing on the territory of present-day Romania. The first printings in Romanian were achieved in the Orthodox monasteries, which also organized the first Romanian schools. The Christian terminology in the Romanian language is yet another indication that the proto-Romanians were developed by consensus of the universal church synods. In accordance with the census of January 7th, 1992, from the sum of 22.760.449 inhabitants of Romania, 19.762.135, that is 86.6 per cent, are Orthodox.
The highest authority of the Romanian Orthodox Church is the Holy Synod, made up of the Patriarch, as chairman, and all the metropolitans, archbishops, bishop vicars and archhierarchs-vicars, as members. The executive representative body of the Holy Synod is the National Church Council.
The Romanian Orthodox Church keeps up relations with nearly all the Christian churches in the world.
Outside the country's boundaries, on the territories of neighboring countries, there are a few million Romanian Orthodox organized in church units. Most of them are in the Metropolitan Seat of Bessarabia, and in the Northern Bukovina. On December 19th, 1992, the Synod of Romanian Orthodox Church, endorsed the request to reactivate and receive under its canonical jurisdiction the Metropolitan Seat of Bessarabia, autonomous and in the old style, based in Chisinau.
At present, there are 15 religious denominations officially acknowledged in Romania: the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Church United with Rome, which received official recognition under CPUN decree no 9 of December 30, the Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession, the Evangelical Synod-Presbyterian Church, the Unitarian Church, the Armenian Church, the Christians of Old Rite, the Muslim Cult, the Mosaic Cult, the Christiana according to the Gospels. To them we may add upwards of 120 religious associations, both independent and within the denominations. At present, the denominations freely elect their leading bodies and their servants, without any interference from the State.
Religious freedom of the cults in Romania is assured materially as well. The State supports their activity, granting monthly financial contributions to the religious staff, earmarking annual sums for the building of new abodes, as well as the conservation and restoration of valuable assets of the national heritage in the property of the denominations.
The Romanians living in the world have also organized in approximately 250 Orthodox communities, most of them under the canonical jurisdiction of the Romanian Patriarchate.
The Romanian churches, representing landmarks in history, are superb monuments of art and architecture, proving by their variety, in point of construction and painting, the spirit of an ancient culture, philosophy, art and technique of a people of universal vocation.