Un articol din ziarul catolic AMERICA, 18 Iulie 1914, Vol XI, Nr. 14 Pg 321-322
“Biserica Baptista Romana”
The Baptists claim to be making great progress among the various nationalities and races who come as immigrants to this country They have established the Roumanian Baptist Church Biserica Baptista Romana which is very prosperous according to the statements of conversions and baptisms given in the Roumanian Baptist organ Chrestinul (The Christian) published at 1371 West 116th street Cleveland, Ohio.
They are spending a great deal of money in proselytizing among the Roumanian immigrants of the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic faith Occasionally they recruit their ranks from the few Calvinist and Anabaptist Roumanians who come hither from Transylvania in Hungary Their first convert so they say was Theodore Saleagau who is a Roumanian from the kingdom of Roumania and he became a Baptist in 1903. He is now one of their missionaries. He was taken under the protection of the Lincoln Baptist Church of Cincinnati and gathered around him a large number of Roumanian immigrants.
On January 1, 1910 the First Roumanian Baptist church (Prima Biserica Baptista Romana) in America was organized with forty eight members at 1,991 Central street in Cincinnati. These Roumanians were mostly factory workers. Finally at the end of 1910 by the aid of the Baptist Mission Society they bought a church building and on November 6 1910 dedicated it as a Roumanian Baptist church. They also brought a Roumanian Baptist missionary from Hungary the Rev Ristea Igresan who is now the chairman of their missions committee. Since that date the missionary society has supplied them with funds and provided many Roumanian converts as missionaries. They are now opening up a wide field among the Roumanians of the Middle Vest. A very well printed and illustrated paper Chrestinul of sixteen pages as large as AMERICA in size is conducted by the Rev Louis A Gredys.
The Baptists make it their business to place it if possible in the hands of every Roumanian in this country. Just at present they have been having a lively controversy with the Roumanian Seventh Day Adventists and with the Greek Orthodox Roumanians and they are also, for what reason I can not discover, pitching into Pastor Russell and saying ugly things about him. Chrestinul has no good word of course for the Catholic Church whether of the Greek or Roman rite remarking for instance in the February number: “The Papacy in its fullest and final development has been merely a reproduction of the world-wide Roman empire half pagan and half Christian.”
At present the Baptist Roumanian missions have churches or small congregations at the following places: Anderson, Ind., Cleveland, Akron, Cincinnati, Martin’s Ferry and Dayton O,; Detroit, Mich., Gary and Indianapolis, Ind. They are also about to establish others in Harrisburg, Pa., and in Hammond, Ind.
Hitherto these proselytizers have confined themselves for the most part to the Greek Orthodox and Calvinist Roumanians, but now they are making inroads upon the Roumanians of the Greek Catholic rite. A Roumanian Greek Catholic priest tells me that recently he was called to Ohio and to the western part of Pennsylvania to hear the confessions and reconcile with the Church several Roumanians who had come under the influence of these Baptist missionaries and was astonished at the flood of literature tracts and issues of Chrestinul he found. He says there are but eight Roumanian Greek Catholic priests in this country, and there is work for a dozen more; while they have not a single Roumanian Catholic newspaper.
The Orthodox Greek Roumanians however have two journals and the Socialists, one. It is but fair to say that the Baptists do not carry on their missions in the manner the Presbyterians did with the Ruthenians, by directly imitating Catholic services and prayers. Nevertheless the Baptist propaganda is a grave menace to the faith of the Catholic Roumanians in this country. We must not let them be lured away from the Church.
ANDREW J SHIPMAN