With regard to the letter signed by 21 U.S. congressmen requiring the Secretary of State, John Kerry, to intervene in the course of justice in Romania to put an end to the “persecution” of Roman Catholic, Reformed, Evangelical Lutheran and Unitarian churches from Romania, I asked historian Vasile Lechinţan (from Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania) to give us a brief view on the subject. He was kind enough to make a brief statement.
Dan Tanasă: Mr. Vasile Lechinţan, you learned that on June 13th, 21 American congressmen sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, asking him to put pressure on the Romanian government in order to end the “persecution” and to fully return the goods seized in 1945 by the Romanian communist government from churches and other religious groups, indicating a colossal amount of 2,140 schools, hospitals, orphanages and other civic and charitable institutions confiscated, belonging to the Roman Catholic, Reformed, Evangelical Lutheran and Unitarian churches. What’s your opinion on the matter? Are the American congressmen right to be outraged by the situation in Romania and to blame Romanian on this topic?
Vasile Lechinţan: Mr. Dan Tanasă, I would certainly sign alongside the 21 U.S. congressmen to ask for justice for the “Hungarian churches” if the situation would be real, but unfortunately, it seems the 21 U.S. Congress members fell into a trap that has been set, apparently, by The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR). The Romanian people from Transylvania was robbed and humiliated for over 800 years by the representatives of the “Hungarian churches” in Transylvania in the country’s Diet (a form of government at that time), was deprived of culture, of freedom and of dignity by these representatives, was removed from the benefits of public goods resulted including by their work and wealth, despite the fact that they were the majority ethnic group in the country, and among these common public goods are also the ones claimed by DAHR only for the purpose of ethnic cleansing of Romanians: the former Latin colleges Roman Catholic, Reformed, Evangelical Lutheran and Unitarian with massive support including from Romanians for hundreds of years, major foundations created by the Austrian Empire for young people from Transylvania, all these should be common bridges of history and culture, not symbols of the Hungarian ethnic supremacy. I am very sorry that the 21 American congressmen fell into the trap set by the DAHR and, without realizing it, campaigning for this ethnic cleansing of Romanians in Transylvania and for the retroactive robbery that lasted for centuries of Romanians in Transylvania. If necessary, I can chronology demonstrate on another occasion, for each institution, such a situation that happened in Transylvania during the XVI-XX centuries.
Details about the letter signer by the U.S. Congressmen here.