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October 29, 2020
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Anti-church protest, BOR accuses the organisers of propaganda

The Secular-Humanist Association of Romania (ASUR) organised on December 29 a protest against the church. “Politicians have completely different priorities. The church received, in the latest government meeting, a sum of RON 10 M additional to the RON 20 M allocated on December 11. Furthermore, on December 18, BOR received in administration, through an emergency ordinance, the Bradul Hotel Complex of Covasna, plus 2.3 hectares of land. We must send them a clear message: We want hospitals, not cathedrals! We want a laic Romania! Religious cults must finance themselves from the voluntary contributions of their believers,” said Toma Patrascu, vice-president of the Association, quoted by “Evenimentul zilei”. In the last cabinet meeting of last year, the government passed an emergency ordinance that transfers the control over the Bradul Hotel Complex of Covasna from RA-APPS to the Orthodox Bishopric of Covasna and Harghita. The transfer also upset the Nation Szekler Council, which accused the government of granting a discriminative support to BOR, “willingly underprivileging the Hungarians of Romania.”
In retort, the Romanian Orthodox Church issued a press release in which it accuses the organisers of the protest of “tendentious propaganda,” explaining that the support granted to religious cults from the state budget is constitutionally legal and accounts for 0.08 pc of the GDP, 20 times smaller than the budget of the health sector. “In Romania, hospitals and schools are not closed because of the Church, but because of the decreasing population and because private hospitals and schools appeared. The church conducts a consistent social, medical and educational work in the society, for which the eparchies of the Romanian Patriarchy spent approximately RON 70 M (some EUR 16 M) last year alone”, reads the BOR communique.

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