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The Orthodox takeover

The Romanian Orthodox church is consolidating power and marginalising its critics

By Luke Dale-Harris  

A Romanian Orthodox church in Ghimbav (photo: Gripso Banana Prune)

Twenty years after the death of Ceausescu, the Romanian Orthodox church (ROC) is everywhere in Romania. From schools, hospitals and penitentiaries to almost every living room across the country, the icons of the Orthodox religion back up the statistics that cast this as the sixth most religious country in the world, and the church as the most trusted institution in Romania.

And yet, while Romanians show a desire for faith, there is what church scholar Liviu Andreescu sees…

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