Conflict between State Power and the Church in Moldavia during the Communist Dictatorship

Peti, Lehel (2006) Conflict between State Power and the Church in Moldavia during the Communist Dictatorship. Acta Ethnographica Hungarica, 51 (3-4). pp. 327-334. ISSN 1216-9803

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The article analyses the circumstances of the origin, the course and after-life of a folk religious movement that emerged in 1986, during the time of the communist dictatorship. The religious movement arose in a region inhabited by an ethnic group constituting a religious and linguistic minority, the Csángós of Moldavia, in one of the most economically backward zones of Romania. The Csángós of Moldavia (a Hungarian-speaking, Roman Catholic ethnic group) in many respects resemble pre-industrial ethnic groups; their world view and religious practice have mediaeval characteristics. The Romanian communist regime had one of the community's leaders killed; a doctor who was also a consecrated priest. After his death people began to attribute miraculous, healing power to the well in front of his house. As a result the well soon became a place of pilgrimage attracting crowds of thousands. The Securitate (the Romanian secret police) tried to prevent the development of the cult; it dispersed what had become a constant crowd of believers around the well and placed it under police control. Despite the bans the pilgrimages did not stop, on the contrary they increasingly took on the character of a movement. After the area around the well was closed, the destination of the pilgrimages was shifted to the village cemetery where the doctor was buried and where the miracles, healings and visions continued.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation / földrajz, antropológia, kikapcsolódás > GT Manners and customs / néprajz, szokások, hagyományok
Depositing User: xBarbara xBodnár
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 07:15
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2017 07:20

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