Baptist Union of Romania
|Baptist Union of Romania|
|Associations||Baptist World Alliance |
Romanian Evangelical Alliance
The Baptist Union of Romania (Romanian: Uniunea Baptistă din România) is a Baptist Christian denomination in Romania. It is affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance. The headquarters is in Bucharest.
The first modern-era Baptists in Romania were of German extraction. Karl Scharschmidt came to Romania from Hungary in 1856 and settled in Bucharest. Scharschmidt, a carpenter by trade, had been baptized by Johann Gerhard Oncken in Hamburg in 1845. By 1863 enough converts had been made to form a church, and Oncken sent August Liebig to serve them as pastor. This church, the oldest Baptist church in Romania, in still in existence and meets on Popa Rusu Street (Betania Baptist Church). Russian Baptist immigrants, mostly from the southern Ukraine, came to Dobrogea around 1862 and founded a church in Cataloi in 1869. Hungarian Baptists formed a church in Transylvania in 1875.
Baptist witness did not enter Old Romania until the 20th century, and Orthodox opposition was strong. Nevertheless, a church was organized in Jegalia in 1909. An ethnic Romanian church was formed in Bucharest in 1912 by Constantin Adorian (1882-1954), a Romanian who had joined the German Baptist church in Bucharest. Adorian led in forming the Baptist Union of Romania in 1920. In 1930, it had 45,000 members.  Before 1944, the legal status of evangelical groups such as the Baptists was not well defined. Due to World War II and the military dictatorship of General Antonescu, laws were passed in 1942 and 1943 dissolving all religious associations in Romania. As a consequence, Baptists could not meet, worship or evangelize. On August 31, 1944 these laws were abolished, and the Baptists (and others) could once again engage in religious activity legally. In 1948 Baptists were recognized as a legal cult (the generic term used by the Romanian government to describe religious bodies).
In 2017, it had 1,614 churches and 84,915 members.
- European Baptist Federation
- Brotherhood of Independent Baptist Churches and Ministries of Ukraine
- Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine
- Union of Baptist Churches in Serbia
- Union of Christian Evangelical Baptist Churches of Moldova
- John H. Y. Briggs, A Dictionary of European Baptist Life and Thought, Wipf and Stock Publishers, USA, 2009, p. 436
- (in Romanian) Florin Mihai, "Cum s-a format comunitatea baptistă din România" Archived October 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Adevărul, October 7, 2012; accessed October 18, 2012
- C. Douglas Weaver, In Search of the New Testament Church: The Baptist Story, Mercer University Press, USA, 2008, p. 234
- Robert E. Johnson, A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2010, p. 316
- Baptist World Alliance, Statistics, bwanet.org, USA, retrieved April 9, 2020