28 septembrie – Comemorare Ferenc Visky la Oradea

Platforma Decenu.eu și editura Casa Cărții te invită la un eveniment comemorativ Ferenc Visky și lansarea cărții Prizonierii speranței, editor Francisc Visky. 

Ferenc Visky (1918-2005), preot reformat din mișcarea betanistă, a fost arestat de regim și condamnat la 22 de închisoare (a stat închis însă între 1958-1964). La scurtă vreme după arestarea lui, soția Julia și cei 7 copii (cu vârste între 12 și 2 ani) sunt deportați în Bărăgan și abandonați în câmp. În închisoare, Visky Ferenc se împrietenește cu Richard Wurmbrand și cu alți deținuți de diferite naționalități și confesiuni. După grațiere, a fost repartizat în parohia din Paleu, lângă Oradea, ca să fie mai ușor de supravegheat de către autorități. Își continuă însă întâlnirile și activitățile subversive, iar în 1983 va fi obligat să se pensioneze. Născut la Agriș (județul SM), decedează în 2005 la Oradea.

La eveniment vor participa doi dintre băieții lui Ferenc: Francisc și András. Francisc, cel mai mare dintre copiii familiei Visky, avea 12 ani când au fost deportați în Bărăgan și tot atunci construiește primul său aparat de radio. Va rămâne toată viața un pasionat radioamator și colecționar de aparate radio. Este un povestitor talentat și cu simțul umorului. András este dramaturg și director artistic adjunct al Teatrului Maghiar din Cluj Napoca. Predă la Facultatea de Teatru și Televiziune din Cluj și ca profesor invitat în școli precum Yale, University of California, Osaka University sau University of Michigan. Piesele sale au fost jucate pe scene din SUA, Franța Italia, Polonia, Italia, Ungaria, România etc.

Momentul muzical va fi susținut de trupa: Élő Kövek (Pietre Vii).

Intrarea la eveniment este gratuită, dar cu rezervarea locului în sală. Atenție, locurile sunt limitate!

Evenimentul va fi în limba română, cu excepția pieselor muzicale (care vor beneficia de traducere).

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A Message from an Imprisoned Chinese House Church Leader

Pastor Wang Yi & his wife

In October, house church pastor Wang Yi (pictured above with his wife) sat down and wrote a “Declaration of Faithful Disobedience,” as he saw the storm clouds of persecution about to close in on him and his church. He instructed his fellow elders to hold the letter and only release it after he had been arrested more than 48 hours.

That moment came on the morning of Sunday December 9th, when officers from China’s Public Security Bureau raided Wang’s Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu. The church leaders were among 100 believers arrested and taken away that morning. Many have not been heard from since. Just before Christmas, a further 60 church members were detained, with some taken into China’s notorious “black jail” system, where people are tortured mercilessly without anyone knowing their whereabouts. Here is Wang Yi’s declaration:

“On the basis of the teachings of the Bible and the mission of the gospel, I respect the authorities God has established in China. For God deposes kings and raises up kings. This is why I submit to the historical and institutional arrangements of God in China.

As a pastor of a Christian church, I have my own understanding and views, based on the Bible, about what righteous order and good government is. At the same time, I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience. But changing social and political institutions is not the mission I have been called to, and it is not the goal for which God has given his people the gospel.

For all hideous realities, unrighteous politics, and arbitrary laws manifest the cross of Jesus Christ, the only means by which every Chinese person must be saved. They also manifest the fact that true hope and a perfect society will never be found in the transformation of any earthly institution or culture but only in our sins being freely forgiven by Christ and in the hope of eternal life.

As a pastor, my firm belief in the gospel, my teaching, and my rebuking of all evil proceeds from Christ’s command in the gospel and from the unfathomable love of that glorious King. Every man’s life is extremely short, and God fervently commands the church to lead and call any man to repentance who is willing to repent. Christ is eager and willing to forgive all who turn from their sins. This is the goal of all the efforts of the church in China—to testify to the world about our Christ, to testify to the Middle Kingdom about the Kingdom of Heaven, to testify to earthly, momentary lives about heavenly, eternal life. This is also the pastoral calling that I have received.

For this reason, I accept and respect the fact that this Communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily. As the Lord’s servant John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.

At the same time, I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws.

But this does not mean that my personal disobedience and the disobedience of the church is in any sense “fighting for rights” or political activism in the form of civil disobedience, because I do not have the intention of changing any institutions or laws of China. As a pastor, the only thing I care about is the disruption of man’s sinful nature by this faithful disobedience and the testimony it bears for the cross of Christ.

As a pastor, my disobedience is one part of the gospel commission. Christ’s great commission requires of us great disobedience. The goal of disobedience is not to change the world but to testify about another world.

For the mission of the church is only to be the church and not to become a part of any secular institution. From a negative perspective, the church must separate itself from the world and keep itself from being institutionalized by the world. From a positive perspective, all acts of the church are attempts to prove to the world the real existence of another world. The Bible teaches us that, in all matters relating to the gospel and human conscience, we must obey God and not men. For this reason, spiritual disobedience and bodily suffering are both ways we testify to another eternal world and to another glorious King.

This is why I am not interested in changing any political or legal institutions in China. I’m not even interested in the question of when the Communist regime’s policies persecuting the church will change. Regardless of which regime I live under now or in the future, as long as the secular government continues to persecute the church, violating human consciences that belong to God alone, I will continue my faithful disobedience. For the entire commission God has given me is to let more Chinese people know through my actions that the hope of humanity and society is only in the redemption of Christ, in the supernatural, gracious sovereignty of God.

If God decides to use the persecution of this Communist regime against the church to help more Chinese people to despair of their futures, to lead them through a wilderness of spiritual disillusionment and through this to make them know Jesus, if through this he continues disciplining and building up his church, then I am joyfully willing to submit to God’s plans, for his plans are always benevolent and good.

Precisely because none of my words and actions are directed toward seeking and hoping for societal and political transformation, I have no fear of any social or political power. For the Bible teaches us that God establishes governmental authorities in order to terrorize evildoers, not to terrorize doers of good. If believers in Jesus do no wrong then they should not be afraid of dark powers. Even though I am often weak, I firmly believe this is the promise of the gospel. It is what I’ve devoted all of my energy to. It is the good news that I am spreading throughout Chinese society.

I also understand that this happens to be the very reason why the Communist regime is filled with fear at a church that is no longer afraid of it.

If I am imprisoned for a long or short period of time, if I can help reduce the authorities’ fear of my faith and of my Savior, I am very joyfully willing to help them in this way. But I know that only when I renounce all the wickedness of this persecution against the church and use peaceful means to disobey, will I truly be able to help the souls of the authorities and law enforcement. I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.

Moreover, I must point out that persecution against the Lord’s church and against all Chinese people who believe in Jesus Christ is the most wicked and the most horrendous evil of Chinese society. This is not only a sin against Christians. It is also a sin against all non-Christians. For the government is brutally and ruthlessly threatening them and hindering them from coming to Jesus. There is no greater wickedness in the world than this.

If this regime is one day overthrown by God, it will be for no other reason than God’s righteous punishment and revenge for this evil. For on earth, there has only ever been a thousand-year church. There has never been a thousand-year government. There is only eternal faith. There is no eternal power.

Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them.

Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.

And so, respectable officers, stop committing evil. This is not for my benefit but rather for yours and your children’s. I plead earnestly with you to stay your hands, for why should you be willing to pay the price of eternal damnation in hell for the sake of a lowly sinner such as I?

Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.”

The Lord’s servant,

Wang Yi

Omul evanghelic. O explorare a comunitatilor protestante romanesti

Dragi prieteni,

Vă anunț, cu un sentiment de mare ușurare, că astăzi, înainte de prânz, „după lupte seculare”, care au durat mai mult de… zece ani, am predat la Polirom textele definitive și am semnat contractul final pentru volumul Omul evanghelic. O explorare a comunităților protestante românești. Este vorba de un volum masiv, de circa 650 de pagini, format mare, ce include texte elaborate de 19 autori, din interiorul și din afara mediului evanghelic.

Volumul va apărea în librării cel mai târziu până la începutul lunii septembrie, iar până la finalul aceleiași luni va fi disponibilă și versiunea ebook.

În viitorul apropiat voi voi începe să comunic, din când în când, mai multe informații despre acest proiect editorial.

Până atunci, pentru cei interesați, iată mai jos cuprinsul volumului.

Omul evanghelic – Cuprins

 

Procesul comunistilor din Romania – Cateva consideratii preliminare

Marți 8 mai a avut loc la Palatul culturii din Iași lansarea publică a Proiectului „Procesul comuniștilor”, coordonat de Universitatea Petre Andrei (UPA), împreună cu Institutul de Studiere a Ideologiilor și derulat în colaborare cu mai multe instituții:, Academia Română, Institutul de Investigare a Crimelor Comunismului și Memoria Exilului Românesc, Editura Institutului European, Primăria Municipiului Iași etc.


Georgeta Condur

Proiectul este prevăzut a se desfășura pe durata a doi ani și jumătate, având trei componente: cercetare, judiciară și editorială. Evident, este vorba mai degrabă de un „proces moral”, cei mai mulți dintre cei vizați nemaifiind în viață. Cum însă în România (precum și în celelalte țări foste comuniste) nu a avut loc un proces de decomunizare, asemănător celui de denazificare în Germania, după căderea regimului hitlerist, consider că acest demers este unul salutar și absolut necesar, dat fiind că tinerele generații sunt din ce în ce mai ignorante cu privire la trecutul recent. Mai multe detalii despre proiect puteți găsi pe situl web al acesteia. Continue reading “Procesul comunistilor din Romania – Cateva consideratii preliminare”

Urbi et orbi – 1973, Vanju Mare

Danut militar
DanutM, soldat, Vanju Mare, 1973

Urmărind în ziua de Crăciun transmisiunea de la Vatican a mesajului papal urbi et orbi din ziua Crăciunului 2017, care este întotdeauna emoționantă pentru mine (ce să facem, vor spune unii, „un ecumenist va fi întotdeauna un ecumenist!”; la care eu răspund: „amin!”), mi-am adus aminte de un alt Crăciun, de acum exact 44 de ani.

În decembrie 1973 mă aflam într-o unitate militară la Vânju Mare, în Mehedinți, unde făceam armata la termen redus, la intendență, înainte de începerea studiilor universitare economice. Tocmai împlinisem 19 ani. Cele opt luni petrecute acolo au reprezentat una dintre cele mai dificile perioade din viața mea.

Când am ajuns în unitate, purtam deja asupra mea eticheta unui proscris. Pe dosarul meu scria „baptist”, ceea ce, în limbajul militar comunist se traducea prin „sectant”, „retrograd”, „dușman al patriei”, și altele asemenea. Am fost preluat imediat sub observație de ofițerul de contrainformații, securistul unității militare, care a recrutat imediat câțiva informatori dintre colegii mei (delațiunile lor aveam să le găsesc mulți ani mai târziu, în primul meu dosar de urmărire de la Securitate – au fost în total patru la număr, și care acum se află transcris în întregime pe acest blog – dacă vă interesează, găsiți aceste documente, însoțite de comentarii, dând o căutare după expresia „File I-1065”). Au urmat interogatorii umilitoare, batjocuri („nu avem nevoie de savanți pocăiți în țara noastră”, amenințări („nu vei termina niciodată facultatea”, și multe asemenea. Continue reading “Urbi et orbi – 1973, Vanju Mare”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide – A Prayer Diary for Cuba

cuba_map

“God gives us strength based on our faith. We are fighting for freedom. Our Lord said the truth will set you free and we are fighting for this ideal.” Berta Soler is a human rights activist and the leader of the Ladies in White group. Berta exemplifies the courage and perseverance of Cuba’s human rights activists, church leaders and hundreds of others who face daily harassment just because of what they believe.

Sunday

Fếlix Llerena López is a young religious freedom defender who was arrested three months after an advocacy visit to Washington, DC with CSW. He wasn’t permitted to travel and had even been expelled from university. However, the charges against him have now been dropped: praise God for this good news. Continue reading “Christian Solidarity Worldwide – A Prayer Diary for Cuba”

North Korea – A Communist Human Rights Hell

north-korea-infographic

(Source, Christian Solidarity Worldwide)