April 19, 2024

Church in Romania Releases Documentary ‘Who Are the Adventists?’

Film explores contribution of Adventism in the country and debunks myths about the church.

Dragoș Mușat, Romanian Union Conference, Inter-European Division, and Adventist Review

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania released the film Cine Sunt Adventiștii? (Who Are the Adventists?), a documentary presentation on Romanian Adventism, on March 1. The 93-minute film places the Adventist Church within the history of Christianity and explores the major contributions Adventists have made to Romania, including health and education networks and social assistance.

Globally, Adventists represent less than 1 percent of the Christian population and are part of the Protestant family (36 percent), along with Orthodox Christians (12 percent) and Catholics (50 percent). Worldwide, the Adventist population is approximately 22 million members, and the denomination holds distinctions in health, education, and communication.

Producers said, “Since they appeared in Romania, Adventists have stirred controversy. Romanians who have heard about them consider them either dangerous or that they think they are better than other Christians. We wanted to answer the question, ‘What is the truth?’”

Among the topics the film addresses are the questions of whether Adventists are really Christians, why they have much in common with Muslims and Jews, and how they interpret the prophecies of the end times.

Who Are the Adventists? contains interviews with Romanians on the street but also with personalities such as the state secretary for religious affairs, Ciprian Olinici; the president of the Romanian Academy, Ioan-Aurel Pop; the former president of Romania, Emil Constantinescu; representatives of various religious institutions, including Ionuț Corduneanu of the Orthodox Church, Virgil Achihai of the Evangelical Alliance, and Murat Iusuf, Muslim mufti from Romania, along with historian Adrian Cioroianu; influencer George Buhnici; and sociologist Dumitru Borțun.

Images in the documentary are from more than 30 Adventist places of worship selected from all regions of the country. The narrator is Ioan Paicu, editor of Radio Vocea Speranței and elder of a local church. The soundtrack includes adaptations made for 26 hymns from the parishioners’ songbook.

Among the more than one thousand believers who appear in the film, two families with four to six successive generations of Adventists stand out; they reflect the social evolution of the denomination on Romanian soil.

The essential areas in which Adventist spirituality is manifested, present as important sections in the video, are the contributions to health, charity, evangelical impact, and Adventist education.

Who Are the Adventists? also shows two of the most important doctrines from a confessional perspective: why Adventists celebrate Saturday as the seventh day and what Adventists believe about the imminent return of Jesus Christ to this earth. The Adventist understanding of the future is illustrated in the last part of the film by highlighting the role played by Protestants in the Romanian (Timişoara) Revolution of December 1989, as well as the way religion decisively influences political and social crises.

“The material answers the question of whether Adventists are really Christians and why, of all Christians, Adventists have the most in common with both Muslims and Jews, which, again emphasizes the role Adventists believe they will play in the future, in the final events before Christ’s return to earth,” producers wrote on the film’s YouTube page.

Who Are the Adventists? is a production of the Romanian Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The original version of this story was posted on the Romanian Union Conference news site.