August 16 marks Romania’s National Day of Remembrance of the Brancoveanu Martyrs and of Awareness of Violence against Christians.
Romania’s President ratified the law proclaiming August 16 as “National Day of Remembrance of the Brancoveanu Martyrs and of Awareness of Violence against Christians” on July 16, 2020.
The day of August 16 was chosen to coincide with the feast of the Holy Brâncoveanu Martyrs, commemorated by the Romanian Orthodox Church on this day. They symbolize the Romanians fight for independence, affirmed through their cultural and religious Christian ethos.
This National Day aims to inform the public, including young people, about the role of Christianity in the history of Romania and the ongoing nature and extent of Christian persecution in the world.
The Romanian Patriarchate welcomed the proclaiming of this national day of remembrance. It advocated for “the memorial recovery of Christian martyrdom and for the protection and promotion of religious freedom as a fundamental right of every human person.”
“The Holy Brâncoveanu Martyrs exemplarily illustrated martyrdom as the ultimate proof of love for Christ in the history of Romanian Christianity.”
“That is why the proclamation of a national commemoration day for their martyrdom should be for us an opportunity to become more aware of today’s violence against Christians. This violence takes different forms of persecution today, from the Christphobia of the new ideologies to the filmed executions of those whose only guilt is that of being Christian.”
Persecutions against Christians worsen during pandemic
The tendencies of persecution and oppression of Christians have grown worldwide in 2021, the data published by the Open Doors International show. According to the report, approximately 360 million Christians are suffering a high degree of persecution and discrimination worldwide.
Given the numbers, one out of seven Christians was a victim of persecution and discrimination for their faith in Christ: one out of six in Africa, two out of five in Asia, and one out of twelve in Latin America.
The statistics show that 5,898 Christians were killed, 5,110 churches were attacked, 6,175 Christians were imprisoned, and 3,829 were kidnapped.
Photo courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu (fresco from the New St George Church in Bucharest)