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Atheism, Communism, Jesus Is the Hope of the World

The Role of Christianity in the Fall of Romania’s Ceausescu

About one hour after the protest began at Pastor Tokes flat.

My son had to do a slide presentation on Romania as part of his homework. While helping him with this project, I read a little about the revolution of 1989 that led to the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu. I didn’t know that the revolution was started by a group of Christians who were protesting the arrest of their pastor by the “Securitate,” (the Romanian secret police organization).

Ceausescu’s regime, impressed by Juche ideology after visiting North Korea in 1971 , began a program of “Systematization.” Apparently, Kim Il-sung believed in national “self-reliance” characterized by the idea that “MAN IS THE MASTER OF EVERYTHING AND DECIDES EVERYTHING.” This communist/atheist/nationalist ideology rejected God. In Ceausescu’s Romania, it led to the destruction of villages with a population of under 1000 people. Involved in this plan was the destruction of many churches. As a result, Pastor Laslo Tokes became a critic of Ceausescu and his program of Systematization.

In 1981, he wrote an article on Romanian human rights abuses for the journal Counterpoints. This caused the Securitate to take notice of him and begin their harassment. Tokes gave sermons against Systematization and organized other pastors to oppose it. His rebellion led to the Securitate demand that he move to a more isolated parish.

It was the parishioners of Tokes’ church, surrounding his flat and refusing to allow him to be relocated, that started the 1989 Revolution that overthrew Ceausescu. As the parishioners refused to give up, and hundreds formed a human chain around Pastor Tokes’ building, college students joined with them, singing hymns and songs such as “Wake Up, O, Romanian!” They marched to the communist party headquarters and shouted “Down with Ceausescu!” and “Down with communism!” A confrontation ensued, shots were fired, rocks were thrown, and water canons blasted the crowds, but the crowd continued, even dismantling the water canons and throwing them in the river. In the next days, industrial workers would join the crowd by the thousands. The insurrection was complete. Ceausescu fled.

Eventually, Nicolae and his wife would be tried and executed. The world would then see the horrors of the Romanian orphan system, leading missionaries and relief organizations from around the world to rush to rescue the little ones who were abandoned and neglected.

As a result of the revolution, Romania became a constitutional republic. It now has an elected president (rather than a dictator), a bicameral parliament, and a supreme court. In 2007, it became a member of the European Union. Laslo Tokes would take the the place of the communist bishop of the church, leading Romania during a time of upheaval into true spiritual and societal renewal. He was also elected in 2007 to a seat in the European parliament.

As usual, it would take the heroism of persecuted Christians to overcome the tyranny and evil caused by those who reject the scriptures and God by pursuing thier own form of Eden on earth.


About Diana Lesperance

I'm passionate about Jesus and I love to defend the gospel of grace and truth. I have a large and active family that keeps me busy and overwhelmed on a daily basis.


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Why am I WAITING for “Shalom?”

"They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven . . ."
(1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10a)

The word "shalom" in the Hebrew has many meanings which indicate restoration, renewal, friendship, peace, safety and so on. At one time, God placed his creation in a perfect garden--a place of safety, security, provision and peace--and we disobeyed God, losing 1) our relationship with God and 2) paradise.

Since that time, we've attempted to bring back both of these losses in our own way. Religion is our attempt to gain back our relationship with God, and politics is our attempt to gain back paradise.

The solution to both of these losses is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet the world refuses to believe the good news! Instead they try to attain the restoration--the shalom--in their own way through their own effort.

I believe that the kingdom of God is restored in the hearts of men as they receive Christ's finished work, but the kingdom of God doesn't come physically to earth until Christ comes.

Any effort to bring about the promise ahead of time in our own strength is akin to Abraham going to Hagar for fulfillment of the promise instead of waiting with Sarah for the birth of the promised child through whom the nations of the earth would be blessed.

The evangelical church is rushing en masse to bring about shalom through their own effort, power, and influence. Men like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Jim Wallis, and Donald Miller are losing their faith in the promise of Christ that he would prepare a place for them and they're attempting to restore paradise now.

I want to let it be known that I'm WAITING for shalom. I won't be a part of their dream. They are moving ahead of God rather than waiting on God and they will create another Ishmael as a result.

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