Bucharest Employs Church Expansion to Advance 'Greater Romania' Project

© AP Photo / Darko BandicProtesters gather in front of the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
Protesters gather in front of the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 - Sputnik International
The Romanian Orthodox Church’s expansion on the Balkans appears to be a part of Bucharest’s plans to make the dreams of Greater Romania come true.

The National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade, with the monument to Mihailo Obrenovic, Prince of Serbia, seen in the center. - Sputnik International
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It appears that ever since Romania became a member of the EU and NATO, the country sought to fulfil its long-time ambition of creating the Greater Romania — a nation-state which would incorporate all Romanian speakers.

And now it seems that Romania seeks to further its agenda at the expense of its old ally and partner Serbia, according to Sputnik Serbian columnist Nikola Joksimovic.

Claiming that all Vlachs and Romance-speaking people  are Romanians, regardless of what the aforementioned people think, Bucharest callously trampled on relations with other Balkan states on its quest to make the Greater Romania dream come true.

And now it appears that the Romanian Orthodox Church is being employed by Bucharest to further its ambitions, according to Joksimovic. Arguing that all Romance-speaking people are Romanians, the church actively sought to expand its activity across the Balkans, blatantly infringing on the territory of other Orthodox churches.

During the latest Holy Assembly, the Serbian Orthodox Church’s hierarchs decreed that if Romanian clerics continue to pursue this course of actions, the Serbian Orthodox Church will sever all relations with the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Orthodox publicist Vladimir Dimitrievic told Sputnik that as the EU and NATO expanded to the east, the new members of these blocs apparently decided that it would be a good opportunity to rob their weakened neighbors who did not join these organizations.

"The Romanian Orthodox Church followed the wrong path, the path that violates our brotherly relations. In any case, these actions will have consequences. For several years the Serbian Orthodox Church assembly kept quiet about these things, hoping perhaps that there won’t be any future developments. However, it’s clear now that this matter once again became a pressing concern, and the Serbian Orthodox Church assembly had to react," Dimitrievic said.

It appears that after joining the EU and NATO, Romania decided that with the protection offered by its new friends it no longer requires old friendships and started acting inappropriately towards its traditional partners and allies, political analyst Dragomir Andjelkovic added.

"Serbia fell victim of Romania’s new stance. Romania started acting inappropriately towards Serbia, forcing the fabricated ‘Vlach issue’ upon Belgrade as a condition for EU integration," Andjelkovic said.

The analyst explained that Romania’s actions "lead to nowhere", especially when the relations between the two nations are concerned.

"This is merely a pretext for something else – namely, the way certain forces that seek to destabilize the Balkans are using Romania to apply pressure to Belgrade. As it is not in Romania’s best interest to sour relations with Serbia, this issue serves as a good pretext for those who seek to drive a wedge between the two countries," Andjelkovic commented on this latest Romanian church expansion.

The Romanian Orthodox Church ceased to respect the old rules on territorial delimitation of the Orthodox churches’ activities and will have to answer for it, Andjelkovic warned.

"By undermining the positions of Serbia, their old and trusted friend, they put their own future in peril, because I don’t think that the current situation in the world will last as long as the European and NATO strategists believe," he surmised.

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