Romanian Church calls for peace following violent protests in capital

Bucharest, August 15, 2018

The Romanian Orthodox Church has released a statement calling for “prayer, peace, dialogue, and social co-responsibility” against the backdrop of several days of protests in Bucharest that have left more than 450 injured.

Some estimates say 100,000 people came out to the streets of the capital for several days starting on Friday to protest what they see as government corruption and to call for new elections. The protests were largely organized by Romanian expats who returned home for the events.

As Romania Insider reports, several aggressive protestors began clashing with the police on Friday, in response to which riot police reportedly fired tear gas, smoke grenades, and a water canon into the crowd at Victoriei Square in Bucharest. According to Global News, 455 people were injured, both police and civilians.

Responsible for the spiritual health of the nation, the Romanian Patriarchate has expressed its sorrow at the violence and bloodshed, urging all of its children to responds with peace and prayer.

The statement reads in full:

[All of] Romania is concerned about the recent events causing violence and whose victims include both civilians and police officers.

Although politically neutral, but sensitive to social issues, as ‘factor[s] of social peace’ (according to the Law of Religious Denominations No. 489/2006, article 7, paragraph 1), the Romanian Orthodox Church urges prayer, peace, dialogue, and social co-responsibility. Hatred, violence and polarization of society are not beneficial for the country.

We urge the priests and believers of the Romanian Orthodox Church to offer prayers for the peace and unity of the Romanian people, especially in this year of the Great Union Centennial, which is very important to us.

At the same time, dialogue and co-responsibility must be encouraged and cultivated for the profit of Romania.

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