Pentecostal Union of Romania - Pentecostal Dissidents

Pentecostal Dissidents

During the Communist era, the Pentecostal Dissidents were one of the Romania's least known unofficial religious communities. They represented groups of believers scattered throughout the country, some of whom may also have belonged to the official church but who gathered in rural areas for their own unauthorised Bible studies and prayer meetings. The official church was restrained in its public exercise of the spiritual gifts, and this attitude may have been important in bringing about extralegal inspirational meetings. The group may also have included a segment of the church that originally remained outside the union because of what it perceived as the official body's unacceptable relationship to the state. Additional concerns were similar to those openly voiced by the Baptists: difficulties in building new churches, baptism restrictions, registration of church members, evangelism and approval of pastors. They deplored what they saw as their leaders' "blind submissiveness", the "political elements" expected to be embodied in preaching, the censorship of the Buletin, the control of visits from abroad, and reports that had to be filed with the Securitate. The Dissidents maintained an extremely low profile and no accurate estimate of their strength can be made. It may have experienced considerable growth alongside the official church, attracting those who favoured more independent leadership. It very likely had close ties with Eastern European missions in Western Europe and the US that strongly supported this type of clandestine community.

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