Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

his country, and that is why we have often reminded our priests of them. . . . But we also demand, emphatically, that our priests should not be torn away from religious duties; they should not be drawn into political affairs which are alien to their vocation; that political pressure aimed at using them as instruments in the struggle of the State against the Church should be stopped; and they should not be forced to break the oath by which they pledged loyalty to the Church and their bishops. In short, in accordance with the principle of separation of Church and State, as guaranteed in our Constitution, the State must abstain from intruding in the religious, spiritual, and internal affairs of the Church. . . .

Source: Janice Broun, Conscience and Captivity. Religion in Eastern Europe ( Washington, D.C., 1988), pp. 333-334.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

R. C. Monticone, The Catholic Church in Communist Poland, 1945-1985: Forty Years of Church-State Relations ( Boulder, Colo., 1986).

B. Szajkowski, Next to God-Poland: Politics and Religion in Contemporary Poland ( New York, 1983).

N. C. Nielsen, Revolutions in Eastern Europe. The Religious Roots ( Maryknoll, N.Y., 1991), pp. 65-84.

Source for this document, pp. 163-198.


182
ALRC Appeal to the Romanian Council of State (Extracts) July 5, 1978

Though Romania's Uniates and The Lord's Army -- the evangelical wing of Romanian Orthodoxy -- were suppressed in 1948 and other religious groups experienced persecution during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Romania relaxed tensions during the 1970s and acquired a reputation in the West for successful management of religion without marked ruthlessness or violence. Church deference to state control, especially in Orthodoxy, yielded benefits: growing numbers, permission for new churches, successful theological institutions, and an increasing clergy. In 1977 and 1978, however, protest developed among Baptists, Romania's fastest-growing denomination.

In February 1977 opposition to a Baptist leadership subservient to the state surfaced at the Bucharest Congress of Baptist Churches. Protests against excessive regulation of churches and antireligious discrimination in education and employment were made. The denomination obediently denounced and punished dissidents, but in April 1978, nine

From Religion in Communist Lands, Vol. VII, No. 3 ( 1979). Copyright, 1979, by Keston College, publisher. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

-485-

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