Religious Liberty in Romania
Bucharest, Romania [Nelu Burcea; CD EUDNews].
The Romanian Union Conference Launched the Guide of the Religious Liberty Leader
The guide for the leaders of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department was launched last week during the National Religious Liberty Meeting.
The launch of the manual published by Life and Health Publishing House was attended by about 100 people, including Pastors Teodor Huţanu and Eduard Călugăru, the President and the Treasurer of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania, Pastor Liviu Olteanu, Director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department in the Inter-European Division, Bert B. Beach, vice president of the International Religious Liberty The Madrigal National Chamber Choir singing in the Romanian Athenaeum
Association, pastors, numerous jurists and lawyers, businessmen and believers interested in defending and protecting the individual rights of the human being.
The guide was developed by lawyers Daniela Ioana Bordeianu and Erika Androne, coordinated by Dr. Nelu Burcea, Director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department in the Romanian Union, and includes official statements of the Church in this area, an short introduction of the international institutions, a complete legislation in the domain, application models for some of the most common situations met in Romania and spiritual resources on religious freedom.
Seminars presented by Bert B. Beach and Liviu Olteanu clarify the European and international vision of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department
During the National Meeting of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department in Romania, in addition to the spiritual message conveyed by Pastor Theodor Huţanu, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania, there were several seminars presented by special guests like Bert B. Beach, Vice President of the International Religious Liberty Association, and Liviu Olteanu, director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department in the Inter-European Division, Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, New York and Vienna as Secretary General of the Association Internationale pour la Défense de la Liberté Religieuse.
The purpose was these seminars consisted in training religious liberty leaders in order to understand the vision of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department of the Adventist Church at a European and global level and especially raising awareness on the importance of creating official relations with local, regional and national leaders and leaders of other denominations.
While Bert B. Beach had a more general scope enriched with examples and concrete suggestions on the secrets of success in this area, Liviu Olteanu had a dynamic and detailed presentation on the vision of the department and how it can operate properly and efficiently.
Another part of these seminars focused on tools that a department director can use. In this context, Liviu Olteanu reminded the audience that the Adventist church in Europe decided to pay a special attention to this area, while emphasizing the importance of synergy between the current activities of the departments and the difficulties any department may encounter when religious freedom is violated.
Talking about religious rights, Liviu Olteanu said: "We defend the principle of freedom and not a right for ourselves! If it’s true or wrong is the problem of every believer. We have no right and qualification to judge or to force anyone to change, but we have the power and duty to defend them and to support their right to believe whatever they want."
For Bert B. Beach was a happy day as he turned 85 and celebrated by launching his book “Ambassador for Liberty” in Romanian and in Romania, a country he heard about in his childhood and that he gladly visited often and where he notices significant changes regarding religious freedom.
Beach encouraged those present to also become Ambassadors for Liberty:
"Seventh-day Adventists are people of freedom. We live in a world enslaved not only politically, but also unfortunately, by restrictions, health issues, and part of our message to the world and our obligation is to carry and bring people full freedom. "
Madrigal National Chamber Choir Brings Sings for Liberty in the Romanian Athenaeum
Sunday evening, the hall of the Romanian Athenaeum was not big enough for the Religious Freedom Concert, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the “Conscience and Liberty” Association.
The choice of the Romanian Athenaeum was not random, as it is a center of Romania’s cultural life and it was constructed during the time when the oldest organization for the defense of religious freedom worldwide, International Religious Liberty Association, was formed.
The songs performed by the Madrigal Choir conducted by Voicu Popescu were studded with interventions scoring the values of religious freedom and its principles both through the guests and the presenter of the event, the Romanian actress Maia Morgenstern who played the role of Virgin Mary in Mel Gibson’s movie "The Passion of the Christ".
"What would life be without music? But without freedom?" Maia Morgenstern asked the audience in her opening remarks, continuing by presenting the benefits of their synergy: "When they meet these concepts complete the human spirit, they make it vibrate at this union of truth and beauty, a twinning that frees us."
Madrigal National Chamber Choir celebrates this year its 50th anniversary, being a symbol of the Romanian performing arts in the second half of the twentieth century.
Thanks to its particular interpretation, a pure and ineffable sonority, the Madrigal Choir is well-known both in Romania and through its numerous concerts abroad, being part of the UNESCO world heritage since 1992.
The Hall of Human Rights of the Romanian Parliament hosted the launch of the Journal for Freedom of Conscience
"An open and transparent dialogue of the state with all the actors of religious life in the development of the common well-being is necessary. Religious diversity, therefore, appears as a resource in the development of a society. Managing religious and cultural diversity means recognizing the contribution of that diversity in society. Ignoring it would deprive society of useful resources in its endeavor towards development and democracy,” said the Minister for Foreign Affairs Titus Corlățean, in the opening of the scientific session “Freedom of religion, from particular to general. An approach in the context of globalization", organized in the Romanian Parliament by “Conscience and Liberty” Association in collaboration with the Committee for Human Rights, Cults and National Minorities Issues of the Chamber of Deputies.
The statement was made in the context of wider debates involving leading figures from national and international academics in the areas of political science, legal science and theology.
He also appreciated the launch of the Journal for Liberty of Conscience, the first local attempt of this scale to offer space and attention to the subject of religious freedom and conscience from diverse perspectives, being an essential work for the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Romanian academics.
For this consistent work of over 700 pages have contributed about 50 Romanian and foreign scholars from famous universities in areas like political science, law, philosophy and theology and representatives of various international organizations in the field of religious freedom.
The topic of freedom in the global context was discussed by senior officials like Dr. Titus Corlăţean - Foreign Minister, Dr. Daniel Barbu - Minister of Culture, Nicolae Păun - Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights, Cults and National Minorities Issues, Senators Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu on behalf of the Culture Committee of the Senate, and Ionel Agrigoroaei, Liviu Olteanu, General Secretary of the Association Internationale pour la Défense de la Liberté Religieuse, along with important leaders of various Romanian universities - Dr. Michael Himcinschi from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Dr. Remus Pricopie, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, numerous academics from the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, the University of Bucharest, the Adventist Theological Institute, and prestigious universities in the United States and the European Union like Thomas Schirrmacher, Director of International Institute for Religious Freedom in Bonn, Cape Town and Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Bill Prevette, Director of the Oxford Centre for Mission Study.
This event managed to represent a significant contribution to the development of a positive image of Romania, through the high academic level of the scientific session and the concern shown by scholars to the topic of human rights in general and freedom of religion and conscience in particular.
Religious Liberty Dinner offered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Titus Corlățean, concludes the series of events dedicated to religious liberty
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, the Diplomatic Club in Bucharest hosted a dinner given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Titus Corlăţean, as the crowning of the suite of events organized in partnership with “Conscience and Freedom” Association, dedicated to religious freedom.
The event was attended by about 80 people, representatives of various denominations, diplomatic corps and international organizations for the defense of religious freedom, politicians and businessmen.
Before dinner, in addition to speeches held by Titus Corlățean and Nelu Burcea, President of the “Conscience and Liberty” Association, spoke also Ganoune Diop, the representative of the International Religious Liberty Association to the United Nations and His Excellency Mons. Francisco-Javier Lozano, the Apostolic Nuncio in Romania.
The host of the event, Minister for Foreign Affairs Titus Corlăţean said: "I hope the guests from abroad and the diplomatic corps accredited in Bucharest will leave with a favorable impression of Romania observing a very clear position of the Romanian State in this regard. We propose to be promoters of a necessary and positive interreligious dialogue that is so important in a world that still troubled."
Ganoune Diop, the representative of the International Religious Liberty Association, the oldest organization for the defense of religious freedom, founded in the USA in 1893 said: “This diplomatic meeting represents a significant contribution to the development of a culture of rights and responsibilities, a culture of fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of religion and conscience. I congratulate you for your direct contribution towards a better world for all, not just for some."
pictures: 1. Nelu Burcea, Romanian PARL & Communications Director; 2. Bert B. Beach, Vice President of the International Religious Liberty Association talking with Nelu Burcea and the Romanian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Titus Corlăţean; 3. Ganoune Diop, the representative of the International Religious Liberty Association to the United Nations; 4. The Romanian actress Maia Morgenstern; 5. Religious and political authorities;
By: Nelu Burcea, PARL Director of the Romanian Union; CD EUDNews;