Friday, March 14, 2008

Krisztian Barticel

Krisztian Barticel
Transylvania Reformed Assistance Committee
The Reformed faith that once flourished in Transylvania has had severe setbacks over the years. The Communist government was never particularly happy with organized religion because Christianity offered an alternative to worshiping the state. The Reformed churches while numerous were hit harder by the decades of totalitarian dogma than the Orthodox church because the Orthodox church was more centrally organized, supported by the Romanian majority, and the individual congregations made up of Reformed Hungarians were easy targets for the predatory old government and the somewhat less predatory new government.
For these reasons an active movement has been working for years to restore the old Reformed churches in Romania and help the villagers find ways to live in an economic wasteland that prevents even good farmland from being used effectively. Krisztian Barticel has for sometime been at the very heart of the Transylvania Reformed Assistance Committee. The purpose of TRAC is the restoration of the Reformed church in Transylvania.
It is not an easy task. Any minister in the area receives a very small wage and must do as much to survive as any other villager. This provides the unappealing challenge of working as hard as possible seven days a week. In Transylvania it appears that being a minister is even more of a calling rather than a job than it is in other parts of the world.
For all these reasons the Reformed church is on the verge of dying out. Barticel said that he “identifies his calling with that of Ezekiel.” Ezekiel was the prophet who was told to preach to dead bones. However, there is still hope. The government has returned land that they stole from the churches to the churches, and a plan has been devised to bus children up to 60 km away so that they can get a Reformed education, as opposed to an Orthodox education.

Transylvanian Reformed Assistance Committee
6970 Bouer Rd.
Hudsonville, MI 49426