Monday, February 08, 2021

Romanian Orthodox Church faces criticism after tragic baptism

In Romania a six week old infant boy recently died shortly after being baptized. Authorities believe the death was directly related to his being baptized by full immersion according to the immemorial rite of the Orthodox Church. The tragedy, not surprisingly, has caused a firestorm of commentary including criticism of the Church's baptismal rite. 

Romania is generally regarded as one of Europe's most religiously observant countries with a little over 80% identifying as members of the Orthodox Church, around 7% as Catholics (mostly Latin Rite but a small number of Eastern Rite), and approximately 5% self identify as some form of Protestant. Somewhere around 2-3% are Muslims or Jews with the rest being either non-believers or having no formally expressed religious beliefs in the latest census. 

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