Romania derives its name from the Romans who occupied its land and made it a Roman colony in the first century before Christ. Throughout its history Romania was regularly occupied by foreign powers before becoming a sovereign nation in 1878. After World War II, Romania was ruled by the Communists. In 1989, the people revolted and. the Communist leader of Romania, Nicolae Ceaucescu and his wife were executed. A new constitution was adopted in 1991 and free elections have taken place regularly since then.
The Pentecostal Movement in Romania began with one simple tract. Paul Budean, an Assemblies of God minister, sent a Pentecostal pamphlet to a family in Romania. This family accepted Christ, received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and experienced a miraculous healing! They began evangelizing in their community, and soon after, a thriving church existed in their community.
Religious freedom has had a difficult history in Romania. In 1925, the government outlawed Pentecostal churches, but believers were not deterred from evangelizing and regularly meeting together. When Communism took over Romania, it did not have the same hard-line opposition to religion that neighboring Communist governments did. But the church still endured much persecution. In the late 1940’s, the government recognized the Pentecostal church though their activities were limited. A Pentecostal Bible school opened in 1973 and became a four-year seminary in 1976. Wayne and Drue Huffman were the first Assemblies of God missionaries to reside in Romania.
The Movement Today
Pentecostal churches in Romania freely and boldly proclaim the gospel message now. The Pentecostal movement in Romania is one of the largest in all of Europe, with over 2500 churches and 450,000 adherents. There are also numerous ministry training schools. The US Assemblies of God works in Romania with the Pentecostal Church and the Romanian Assemblies of God. Christian education institutions, orphanages, HealthCare Ministries, Book of Hope, children’s ministries and other entities work to increase the harvest in Romania.
Additional Facts About Romania
- Capital: Bucharest
- Area: 92,043 square miles
- Population: 19.9 million
- Urbanization: 53%
- Ethnic Groups: Romanian (89 percent), Hungarian (6.5 percent) and Gypsy (3.3 percent)
- Languages: Romanian (official), Hungarian and Vlax Romani
- Agriculture: Grains, grapes, sugar beets and potatoes
- Industry: Mining, construction materials, metals, machinery, oil products, chemicals and food processing.