God, two times more important than hospitals and schools?
And I’m not talking about the Vatican
Not to start on the wrong foot, I have nothing against God, whatever you choose to call Him. Yet, we live in the 21 century, our planet population riched 7.8 billion people and right now faces a pandemic at a scale that never happened before.
How do you convince people to wear a mask because that’s one of the most important safety measures? You educate them so they can understand why.
How do you heal those you got infected? Send them to the hospital.
How do we put an end to the pandemic? Invest in science.
How do you spread hope? Well, here God has an important part. The thing is most churches are closed now. The virus doesn’t believe in God but many believe that God, not the doctors, is the supreme healer. So why go to the hospital if God can heal you?
Because of this question and its wrong answer Romania has an incredible amount of churches and a very low number of hospitals and schools. To be mention that most of them were built long ago and don’t raise to the 2021 standards. What’s wrong with that? you might ask. I shall answer.
First, because a lot of money from the state budget is donated to the church
From 1990 until 2018 the amount goes over 1.17 billion euros, which means 5.71 billion RON (Romanian money). From this, 339,636 million euros were to built and fix churches, and these are only the official numbers. This means around18 a million per year.
In Romania of the year 2015, you could have found 27.384 different cult sanctuaries, from which 18.300 are orthodox churches.
There are only 576 hospitals for 19,41 million people. We might not pray to the same God, but we all go to the hospital. 7.047 schools to 3,52 million students.
In every village, no matter how small, you will find a church and maybe a school. You will find a Hospital just in the city, which can be even more1 hour away. What can you do if you don’t have a car to drive to the hospital?
Some Historical context
In the XIII century in Moldova( a region from Romania) was ruled by Stephen The Great. He was indeed great, as, from all the 47 fights he fought, his army won 43. He was a great Orthodox Christian. After every won battle, he would climb up a hill, shot an arrow from his bow, and wherever the arrow landed, he built a new church or monastery as thanks to God.
So, in around 50 years, he builds 43 churches.
The nobility didn’t build any church, but they donated large portions of land to the orthodox church or were inherited by the church when people died.
Even though a lot of the land surface was confiscated by the state in 1800 A.D, the church still has 420 million euros worth of land in 2011.
The church doesn't pay taxes, everything they produce goes straight into their pocket.
A few years ago the government tried to introduce taxes for churches. To that the church responded: ,,We shall pay taxes, but the state will return back to the church all the land that was taken from it.’’(Well, I don't know if in exactly this form, but that was the message)Nothing happened afterward.
Not enough money left for Hospitals
In 2020 Ministry of Health received approx 235 million which seems a lot more, but all this money has to pay for salaries, medication, equipment, holidays, insurances, etc. And we all know that medical stuff is not cheap at all.
So very little money is left for building new hospitals or to fix what needs to be fixed. And let’s not talk about corruption.
The pandemic showed everybody all these flaws but was too late to prevent accidents from happening.
In 2020 two hospitals from the same district burned because they were not renovated and brought to the 2020 standards. At least 10 people died.
In January 2021 another hospital, this time from Bucharest, burned because there were no fire safety measures and the electric system was way too old.
It was a Covid patients hospital, which means only really sick people were hospitalized. Their lungs were already sensitive and they needed extra oxygen to breathe. 5 of them died, 100 had to be moved to other hospitals. Some of them are still having trouble healing the extra damage dealt by the smoke.
The same problems come up when you mention the Ministry of Education.
The result is directly reflected in our culture. As many people can’t understand the way of the modern world, they turn back to the old way.
People won’t wear masks, won’t respect social distancing, and limited gatherings not just because they think this is a conspiracy theory, but because they can’t understand how these measures are useful.
The educational problems are not tied only to the pandemic. The fact that we lack education can be proven by the fact that Romania is the top country in Europe when it comes to emigration, and top 5 worldwide. Everybody leaves in search of a better life.
When they come back home for holidays they praise the rest of the European countries for their education but won’t do a thing to change their country.
The final (or not) hit
People’s Salvation Cathedral will be, after it’s finished, the biggest orthodox church. It will be bigger than the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour from Moscow.
110 million euro were spent up until now, 25% from donations and the rest was paid by the government or local administrations. Even so, they were public money.
I wrote those articles not to turn anybody away from God. Rather I would have you do the opposite.
What I am trying to say is don’t mix up education and health with religion. Don’t do the mistake to think that only God is responsible for taking care of you.
Do your best when it comes to educate and take care of yourself and only then, when you reach your limit, have fate that God, or someone sent by him, will come to your aid.
Don’t believe me? Then read this short story:
,, Hey dad, you wanna hear something funny? There was a man who was drowning, and a boat came, and the man on the boat said “Do you need help?” and the man said “God will save me”. Then another boat came and he tried to help him, but he said “God will save me”, then he drowned and went to Heaven. Then the man told God, “God, why didn’t you save me?” and God said “I sent you two boats, you dummy!”
About all the churches that I told you about… at least they attract lots of tourists.