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December 17 marked the 25th anniversary of the Romanian revolt against Communist oppression. During church services commemorating the event, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel remarked:
Today we remember from a national point of view the young people who sacrificed themselves on 17 December 1989, at Timisoara, where from the revolution for the liberation of the Romanian people from under the communist atheist dictatorship began. This is why we decided that today, at 12.00 hours, the bells should ring in the entire Romanian Patriarchate. During the Divine Liturgy, a special solemn service was celebrated for the heroes of the revolution from Timisoara of 17 December 1989. We pray Good God to put the souls of those who sacrificed themselves for faith, for the freedom and dignity of the Romanian people with the righteous ones. When we pray for our freedom we think of those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and dignity of the Romanian people. They are remembered at every Divine Liturgy, heroes, Romanian soldiers and fighters of all times and places, so that those who died for the dignity and freedom of the Romanian people are included in this liturgical formula remembering the heroes who are not only soldiers, but also fighters, namely civilians who fought for the completion of the nation, for the freedom and dignity of the Romanian people.
His Beatitude also encouraged people to use freedom for the glory of God, not selfish or destructive pursuits.
We must think now, 25 years after the revolution of December 1989, what we have done with our freedom. We wondered at the time how to get freedom, but now we must wonder how much our freedom brought us close to God and to one another. If we use our freedom for strengthening faith – such as the religion class in the public schools, building churches, increasing the charitable social activity – then it means that our freedom glorified God.
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