orthodox church romaniaThe Persecution of the Church

The List

This is the final part of Ratiu’s book, The Stolen Church. It is a list of some of those who sacrificed their lives for their faith during the communist regime in Romania.

Bishops:

  • Vasile Aftenie, auxiliar bishop of archdiocese of Blaj and then vicar of Bucharest. He was killed in a prison in Bucharest in 1950.
  • Valeriu Traian Frentiu, bishop of Oradea. He died in the Sighet prison in 1952.
  • Ioan Suciu, bishop of Blaj. He died in the Sighet prison in 1953.
  • Ioan Balan, bishop of Lugoj. He was locked at Sighet prison between 1950 – 1955. Upon his release he wrote, together with the other two bishops that were alive (Hossu and Rusu) a letter to the communist Party, criticising their actions. As a result, Balan was isolated again. He died of bad health in a hospital in Bucharest, in 1959.
  • Titu Liviu Chinezu, who was consecrated as bishop in a prison, was the successor of Vasile Aftenie. He died in the Sighet prison in 1953, nearly frozen to death.
  • Alexandru Rusu, bishop of Baia Mare, was condemned to 25 years of forced labour in 1957. He died in 1963 in a prison after being isolated in a freezing cell.
  • Iuliu Hossu, bishop of Cluj, suffered 20 years for his faith. In 1969, Pope Paul the VI raised Hossu to the rank of Cardinal. He died in 1970, in a hospital in Bucharest.

Priests:

The following priests died or were tortured for their faith:

  • Ioan Sabau
  • George Rosianu
  • Emil Borz
  • Augustin Maghiar
  • Augustin Olah
  • Demetriu Man
  • Demetriu Neda
  • Ioan Osian
  • Vasile Suta
  • Mihai Boca
  • Loen Manu
  • Zenovie Paclisanu
  • Victor Fanea
  • Teofil Bailan
  • George Bob
  • Ludovic Vida
  • Augustin Folea
  • Augustin Bacotiu
  • Virgil Maxim
  • Simion Crisan
  • Gavril Balan
  • Alexandru Sasaran

A lot of what Alexandru Ratiu wrote about in The Stolen Church was also published in a book called Biserica Greco-Catolica Romana. Treizeici de ani de suferinta in Romania 1948-1978 (The Greek-Catholic Church of Romania. Thirty years of suffering in Romania 1948 – 1978, East Chicago 1978).

I have translated most of Ratiu’s book to raise awareness of the impact of totalitarian regimes on the lives of individuals. As we face the threat of totalitarianism from some politicians and corporations, it is important to remember that standing up against these forces while we can, even at the cost of losing jobs or reputations, is better than finding ourselves in chains and re-education camps for decades.

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