European Year for Innovation and Creativity

Five believers



Can you imagine a village where the major, the doctor and the teacher have yet the aura of people that still decide in the community and that not seem a part of an economical management for politics spot? Covasint is a village in the transylvanian region of Arad, with less than 3000 dwellers but five churches with different faiths: Orthodox, Adventist, Baptist and two Pentecostals (one for roma). The first impression is clear: religion has won against communism. Maybe, if you are optimistic, you can add that five churches are an example of tolerance; if you are pessimistic, you can deduce a focus of conflicts or an exaggerated separation of believers. Anyway, Covasint is understandable without religion. In these articles, as a work in progress, it will be written the day by day of this relationship between church and community, history, ceremonies and believers. It will be add both pictures and, probably, a documentary. Besides that, if we have time and infrastructures, and the laziness and the bravery permits it, it will be added an approximation to the monasteries of around the region.

The first religious ceremony I assisted to was two weeks ago, the 31 of October, just by chance. It was not the orthodox one, the romanian spinal, but one of the minority churches, the Adventists of the Seventh Day. One of the contacts in the village had a day off and the church was the only one of the five with a ceremony on Saturday. The church is located near one of the palace houses that roma have spread along the village, and it is surrounded by a fence. Outside, the house is painted in white blue and has the images of three angels that extend their arms as trumpets orientated to a planet, that should be the Earth if we are still coherent. These angels could announce the Judgment Day, but being painted as a scheme suggest a warm childhood. Parabolic antenna at a side and relatively modern cars parked outside show some believers near to the occidental medium class (on the other hand, there was inside believers wearing simpler clothes).

At the main entrance, I meet Dino. I don't know his exact position in the church, but he is friendly and, as so many romanian people, has been working in Spain and transmits you feelings of optimism, revers of tourism, natural abolition of borders and fight, defeat, fight and stability. There are two drawings in one of the walls: a world map that could be on a preschooler table and a hand holding an hourglass, as a hand can hold a saltcellar. These images could be thought as a blanket that covers a summary judgment, but the church's light, its cleanness, the believers' smiles and their concentration continue protecting you. The ceremony starts with a chant; the lyrics can be read in a screen connected to the laptop of a teenager that looks around so relax as a cook cooks. Every time we pray, we incline the head, touching our chins our throats, and we close our eyes. There are mixed general chants, chorus, big band and piano. Men and women are separated by a corridor, though mi contact is a woman and she is with me. The priest has someone that helps him, who seldom speaks. The speech is about the Bible and questions to make the believers to participate, as in a play or quiz show. The community is friendly, as they walk a centimeter up to the floor. The speech takes one hour. In my front pew, I can see children's books that show both Bible's parts and images of Jesus so close, that he could be sat behind you in the Ghioroc-Covasint bus or covering you with a blanket the next night.