Jehova's Witnesses in Post-Communist Romania: The Relationship Between the Religious Minority and the State (1989-2010)

Corneliu Pintilescu, Andrada Fatu-Tutoveanu


This study aims at chronicling current aspects and transformations in the relationship between the Jehovah's Witnesses religious minority and the Romanian state (1989-2010), focusing on this religious group's changing official status. Considering both previous contributions and debates on the relations between state and religion, and the distinction between the concepts of denomination versus sect, the present work analyzes the key issues of the long-lasting conflict between the state and this particular religious minority, as well as the factors influencing these relations in Post-Communist Romania. It will be argued that the latest improvements concerning the recognition of religious freedom (Jehovah's Witnesses were officially recognized as a religious denomination in 2003) owes less to internal factors than to an external influence, namely the pressure exerted by the international community at the time of Romania's accession to both NATO and the EU. Furthermore, the study concludes that the evolution of the relation between the state and the Jehovah's Witnesses has influenced the background on which this relation has evolved, as well as the internal evolution of the religious minority


Jehovah's Witnesses, Post-Communism, Religious minority, Romania, Romanian Orthodox Church, state

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