Apparently, the inherent cultural diversity of Romania is not visible from Bucharest. The exact reason for the obstructed view is yet to be uncovered, so we don’t know for sure whether it is the People’s Salvation Cathedral (Romanian: Catedrala Mântuirii Neamului) construction site or the Carpathian Mountains, but one thing is certain: The Romanian government recognizes only one historical church, and that is the Orthodox Church, especially during a pandemic that brought the whole world to its knees and generated frustration among people worldwide.
As you may recall, while we were locked inside our homes due to the national curfew, the Orthodox Church was granted the privilege of striking a deal with the Romanian government through Minister of Internal Affairs Marcel Vela to celebrate Easter. The Minister either didn’t know that there are other historical churches in the country – Reformed, Catholic, Lutheran – or simply chose to ignore them.
Does this mean that Jesus failed to resurrect other cultures who populate this country? Nope, but it does mean that other cultures aren’t equal to the Orthodox Church; thus, in their culture, Jesus’ resurrection was smaller and uneventful, so they should ignore it, just like Vela did when he signed the agreement with the Orthodox Church.
Under the terms of the deal, believers were brought the Holy Fire along with the blessed bread by church representatives and volunteers who went door-to-door so that believers could have this little comfort on such an important holiday.
So, how has the anti-discrimination watchdog reacted? Five months after the deal with the privileged Orthodox Church, Vela received a slap on the wrist to say “naughty boy” and a warning. No monetary fine was imposed, which may have served to refresh Vela’s memory regarding the multicultural landscape of the country he represents. No, the minister can just shrug his shoulders and continue sipping his morning coffee. Just another day at the office.
While according to official data, the vast majority of religious people in Romania are indeed of the Romanian Orthodox persuasion (86.45%), there is still a sizeable minority of Protestants (7.15%) and Catholics (4.51%).
Title image: Marcel Vela in his “Top Gun” jacket. Image source: Facebook