Facts about Romania
ROMANIA is small enough to fit inside the state of Oregon, but has an estimated population of more than 23 million. Oregon, in contrast, has a population of less than 3 million! (The state of New York has a total population of just over 18 million.)
THE ROMANIAN "REVOLUTION" took place in 1989. While it rid the country of the Communist government, it did not rid the country or the government of Communists.
CLIMATICALLY Romania has cold cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog: summers are sunny with frequent showers and thunderstorms.
ECONOMICALLY Romania is the 2nd poorest country in Europe. Only Albania is poorer. More than % of the industry is owned by the government. This, coupled with low wages, high unemployment, poor production of goods, and 45% or higher annual inflation result in the mass of people living in dire poverty. Many goods and services taken for granted in North America are unavailable to the average Romanian. The average Romanian income is about $80 U.S. a month.
ETHNICALLY, Romanians make up 89.1% of the population. Hungarians make up almost 9% and Germans 0.4%. Smaller ethnic groups of Ukrainians, Serbs, Croats, Russians, Turks and Romany ("Gypsies") are also to be found in Romania.
LINGUISTICALLY, the Romanian language is closely akin to old Latin. Approximately 73% of the words are related to Spanish. In certain areas people also speak Hungarian or German. While some older people also speak French, English is the most popular second language among the under 45 set. Romanian is a phonetic language with no true silent letters and is written with the same alphabet as English.
RELIGIOUSLY, between 70% and 80% (or more) Romanians are identified as Romanian Orthodox. Some 6% are Roman Catholic and about the same number are Protestant. (The small number of Romanian "Baptists" are included for statistical purposes under the Protestant grouping.)
THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH is officially sanctioned and the dominate religious organization. Other groups are regarded by the government as, "the Christian Pentecostal Cult", "the Christian Seventh Day Adventist Cult", and "the Christian Baptist Cult", etc.
BAPTIST CHURCHES were organized in Romania in modern times in the early 1800's. Error has moved in to the point that many Romanian "Baptists" do not even believe in the security of the believer! The Romanian Baptist Union is receiving help from the Southern Baptist Convention. S.B.C. Missionaries are working closely with the interdenominational Campus Crusade for Christ. Some "independent Baptist" missionaries working in Romania are sponsored by "mission boards". "Decisional regenerationism" seems to be the popular doctrine of the day in Romania.
JANET AND I expect to be settled in Romania within 12 months or so. We expect to begin visiting among the Lord's Churches in August, 1998. While we are presently becoming acquainted with the language, mastering the Romanian language will be a priority once we arrive in the country.
YOUR PRAYERS and interest in this missionary effort will be greatly appreciated! The financial needs for passage fund, purchase of necessary household goods, and literature for distribution are areas about which we solicit your earnest prayers.