Religion In Romania
To travel through Romania is to be bamboozled by exquisite eye candy. Everywhere you look there are churches - big, small, medieval, brand new, tin-roofed, wooden, painted - each has it's own appeal.
The vast majority of the population are Orthodox, and in the wake of Ceausescu's downfall the Church has capitalised on it's pre-eminent position in the country. Romania is undoubtedly a very spiritual country, with religious rituals, icons and celebrations forming the fabric of many people's lives - I witnessed people standing in a long line confessing their sins to their priest, walking away crying, praying and kissing their icons.
Does Romania need that many churches? If the money used to build costly new churches was given to poor people, wouldn't it cover their basic needs? It's not up to me to decide obviously. The Communists took from the Church and it lost nearly all it's property. So maybe this is a compensation to give back of what it has taken.
A reminder that the Orthodox religion remains a vital component of many people's lives was given by one parishioner: ''We're religious people - we're people who believe.'' ''We don't lose our traditions and our habits. That is how it is here.''