European Year for Innovation and Creativity

The grey entourage



The next visit was to the Orthodox Church in Covasint. The priest, a young man that always took my notebook and my pen from my hands and wrote what he wanted to say, introduced us the church with the naturalness of all priests speaking about history: as something secondary that however, must happen, always under the christian light. Our question jumped out from our mouths and started dancing like little an automaton made of syllables: How was the relationship between Orthodox church and communism? You can be tempted of saying that was an adulterous relationship, because they are two ideologies that, though imply exclusivity, permite grey zones that make believers' life easier. An example:

-Communist party member: There is an order that obliges to the destruction of the church (The priest should understand: You must pretend that the church is under our control, so you must propose something to avoid the destruction. What will you do?)

-Priest: We don't want any problem. What about building an statue near to the church? (The communist party member should understand: If we build it, do you promise respecting my church?)

-Member of the communist party: That's a good idea (The priest should understand: It's ok, at least for today).

And that was the way the romanian church resistance was sewed in the romanian mind, and the communists kept the appearance of a far government that has always a secret card. Ismail Kadaré (in the novel Spiritus) considers ambiguity and a prize and punishment policy as the key of communist governments. The grey entourage: Ceaucescu elite assisting secretly to the orthodox ceremonies.Coming back to the present, we asked for the religions variety in Covasint. The priest told us the exact number but then he aggregated that was approximate, as he was showing us, with certainty, a door but, with the same certainty, was enable of answering what is in the other side. These are the numbers: 1778 Orthodox, 250 Baptist, 180 Adventist y 400 Pentecostal (divided themselves into 270 that assist to specific gypsy ceremonies, and 130 for romanian). According to this data, we, domesticated detectives, can formulate three questions:

1) Why are in Covasint churches with protestant roots, that remind you more smiling americans than transylvanian citizens?

2) Why was a division between romanian and gypsies in pentecostal church? (besides that: Is that division repeated, in fact, in the other churches?)and

3) Which is the relationship between the churches?

Let's answer the last question: According to the orthodox priest, there is no collaboration, nor meetings between priests and believers, nor joint activities, and there is nothing similar to an attempt of ecumenism (maybe in the Covasint situation, it would be desperate). Believers and churches respect each others, but the separation is total. Five representatives of God in the same village and no conflict. Maybe there was a conflict focus in the pentecostal division, but that's an hypothesis for another article.

What about the protestant roots in Covasint? Gold is the guilty. Romanian people that came back from USA, brought these religions to their villages. The first one of this type in Covasint was the Baptist (1908). It can be imagined that romanian immigrant, after the journey, coming back to the tiny village. He mixed in his mind the sensation of recovering his place in his village and the desire of spreading the new word, the new religion, as it was marked by destiny. Let's be understanding with him: When you come back home after a long time, you want have the sensation that you abandoned your place for good. No one wants the sad sensation of the dust growing on the furniture and that your time, as a black tatoo from ankle to neck, is past.