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Other religious and non-religious groups

Further information

Other information concerning religious minorities in Romania can be found in the Mineurel website.

Other information concerning religious minorities in Romania can be found in the Mineurel website.

D 9 December 2013   

Diversification of the religious landscape

The religious landscape in Romania is characterised by a pronounced religious diversity. Thus, besides the predominant Orthodox religion, which represented 81.04% of the population in 2011 (...)

The religious landscape in Romania is characterised by a pronounced religious diversity. Thus, besides the predominant Orthodox religion, which represented 81.04% of the population in 2011 compared to 86,8% in 2002, Romania is also home to a large variety of religious minorities, including the Roman Catholic religion with 4.3% of the total population, Reformed Church 3%, the Pentecostalists with 1.8% and Greek Catholic Church 0,75% of the total population (2011 Census INS).

Neo-Protestant religious minorities evolved very little or are stagnating in 2011 compared to the previous census: Pentecostalists had increased from 1% in 1992 to 1.5% in 2002, then to 1.8% in 2011; Baptists from 0.5% in 1992 to 0.6% in 2002, then to 0.56% in 2011; Seventh-Day Adventists from 0.3% in 1992 to 0.43% in 2002, then to 0.4% in 2011 and Evangelical Christians had increased from 0.2% in 1992 to 0.21% in 2002 and 2011.

D 13 August 2015    AManuela Gheorghe APetrisor Ghidu

Growth of minority Protestant groups – the case of Christians according to the Gospels

This Protestant group is mentioned for the first time in Romania at the beginning of the 20th century. Led by the eldest members (called brothers) and by those who evidence in-depth knowledge of (...)

This Protestant group is mentioned for the first time in Romania at the beginning of the 20th century. Led by the eldest members (called brothers) and by those who evidence in-depth knowledge of the Bible (the "messengers"), they claim to be guided solely by evangelical injunctions.

After 1989, the group split up over the issue of baptism. Some members were in favour of child baptism while others insisted on adult baptism. The first faction then formed the Romanian evangelical Church while the second group continued to call themselves Christians according to the Gospel, thus retaining the group’s original name. Each of these movements has its own governing bodies.

Between 1992 and 2011, membership in the two groups grew from 50,000 to 58,009 members (42,495 for the Christians according to the Gospel and 15,514 for the Romanian evangelical Church). This number represents 0.29% of the (total) population, and a significant increase of 16%. In 2004, the Romanian evangelical Church had 220 places of worship for its 20,000 members while Christians according to the Gospel had 491 branches headed by 724 "messengers" (La vie religieuse de la Roumanie, Bucharest, 2005, p. 77-80).

D 13 August 2015    AManuela Gheorghe APetrisor Ghidu

Islam

The first significant number of Muslims arrived on the actual territory of Romania in the 11th century with the migratory populations of Pechenegs and Cumans. Muslim presence is traditional in (...)

The first significant number of Muslims arrived on the actual territory of Romania in the 11th century with the migratory populations of Pechenegs and Cumans. Muslim presence is traditional in Dobruja, a region on the Black Sea coast which was part of the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries (1420-1878).

The Muslim minority has also increased notably from 55,928 members in 1992 (0.2%) to 67,257 members in 2002 (0.3%) to 64337 members in 2011 (0.3 %). Muslims in Romania live predominantly in the Dobroudja area and their presence on Romanian soil is in fact quite a long story that goes back to the 9th and 10th centuries when the Petcheneg people – natives of Asia – settled in Moldavia at the end of the 9th century, then in Walachia and Transylvania after that. Their numbers increased significantly in Dobroudja especially after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, when the Ottoman rule was introduced there.

The Muslims of Romania belong to the Sunnite branch and preserve their traditions and religious culture with much conviction. They belong to the Muslim religion and they receive support from both Romania (just like the other religions in Romania) and Turkey. According to data published by the State Secretariat for Religious Affairs, they had 77 mosques.

The increased number of Muslims in Romania is to some extent due to the constant birth rate and immigration. This is the case for Muslim foreigners (Arabs, Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians, and Turks) who settled in Romania after 1990 as a result of the country’s democratic freedom but also because of the increased commercial and economic relations with Turkey. Some of them have even asked for Romanian citizenship. There are also some rare cases of Christian Orthodox converting to Islam through mixed marriages.

Muslims in Romania are organised within four religious associations: the Islamic Cultural Centre, the "Crescent" Society, the Romanian Foundation of Islamic Services and the Islamic and Cultural League of Romania.

The 28 July 2015, the Romanian Government, the State Secretariat for Religious Affairs and the representatives of Muslim Worship have initialed an agreement on free disposal during 49 years of a land measuring 11.295 m2. In accordance with provisions of Protocole 1846/28.07.2015 (in Romanian), this land is intended to the construction of a mosque with annexes, a library and a school for the teaching of the Koran. Many discussions about the size and the funding of the future mosque have animated the public debate recently.

D 13 August 2015    AManuela Gheorghe APetrisor Ghidu

Judaism

The presence of Jewish communities on the actual territory of Romania is archaeologically certified since the 2nd century, and it has been documented by literary sources since the Middle Ages. (...)

The presence of Jewish communities on the actual territory of Romania is archaeologically certified since the 2nd century, and it has been documented by literary sources since the Middle Ages.
The Jewish minority in Romania has decreased significantly. The 1930 census recorded 728, 115 Jews in Romania, 518, 754 of which spoke Yiddish. The total number of citizens who said they belonged to Judaism was 756, 930 (4.2%) (Central Statistics Institute, 1938 census). Their numbers have decreased constantly since World War II, for well known historical reasons but also due to the creation of Israel, a portion of the Jews living in Romania who survived the war emigrated there. The alliance between Romania and Nazi Germany during World War II had dramatic repercussions on the Jewish minority.
During the communist regime, the Jewish minority enjoyed treatment similar to that of the other legally recognised religions. After 1990, Jews continued to leave for Israel, so much so that the 1992 census recorded only 9, 670 Jews (0.04%), the 2002 census 6, 057 (0.03%) and the 2011 Census a mere 3519 (0,02%). The group is governed by the “Federation of Jewish Communities”, whose headquarters is in Bucharest and includes all of the communities and institutions in the country. The most important ones are located in Bucharest, Timisoara, Iasi, Brasov, Bacau, Galati, Botosani, Targu Mures and so forth. In 1999 there were still 78 communities and institutions. In 1999 there were 760 Jewish cemeteries located in 679 towns, 124 temples, synagogues and houses of prayer, many of which are historical and architectural monuments. The Jews of Romania publish a bi-monthly journal entitled “the Realities of Jewish Life” as well as many books on Jewish history and culture (Hasefer Publications). The Federation of Jewish Communities helps Romania’s Jewish community by running kosher restaurants, homes for the elderly and vacation houses.
The Jewish population of Bucharest is faced with a decreasing birth rate and a progressively ageing population.

D 13 August 2015    AManuela Gheorghe

New religious movements

Besides the religious minorities of Romania there are also the new religious movements which appeared especially after 1990, they include the Mormons, the Bahai, the International Church of (...)

Besides the religious minorities of Romania there are also the new religious movements which appeared especially after 1990, they include the Mormons, the Bahai, the International Church of Jesus, the Sahaja Yoga, Hare Krishna and transcendental meditation. Approximately 30 movements of this kind are registered based on the legal framework set forth by Order 26/2000. 88, 557 citizens checked the “other religion” category in the 1992 census, 88, 509 in the 2002 census and only 30, 557 in the 2011 Census but with a significant figure of questionnaires where the information on religion was not completed (N.I.S. censuses).

D 13 August 2015    AManuela Gheorghe APetrisor Ghidu

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