Bucharest, June 26, 2020
The plenum of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies adopted a law on Wednesday declaring August 16 the National Day of Awareness of Violence Against Christians.
On this day, the following buildings will be illuminated in red between 8:00 PM and 12:00 AM: the Romanian Parliament, the Government of Romania, the central and local public authorities, the Arc de Triumph and the Mogosoaia Palace, reports the Basilica News Agency.
This will be done “as a sign of awareness by Romanian citizens of the violence and persecution to which Christians in the world were and are subjected today,” the law states.
The day coincides with the feast of the holy Brancoveanu Martyrs, who were canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992. Constantin Brancoveanu was ruler of Wallachia from August 15, 1654 to August 15, 1714, when he was dethroned and captured by the Ottomans and transported to Istanbul together with his four sons where he was tortured and eventually executed by decapitation together with his sons and his treasurer Ianache Vacarescu.
Their feast was established as August 16 so as not to coincide with the great feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.
Public events and religious services can be held this day in places where authorized commemorative events are held. Events can be funded by central and local authorities, and interested NGOs can provide logistical and financial support for any events.
The Romanian Broadcasting Society, the Romanian Television Society, and the AGERPRES national press agency will give priority to broadcasts and informational materials on the persecution of Christians in the past and present.
The initiator, Deputy Daniel Gheorghe, says in the explanatory statement that he created the bill to inform the public, including young people, about the role of Christianity in the history of Romania and the nature and extent of Christian persecution, which continues today. He hopes the law will encourage Christians to defend their right to practice their faith without fear or obstruction.
Deputy Gheorghe submitted a similar draft law last July as well.