Betrayed, Abandoned, and Forgotten.

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There is no more hopeless creature in the world than an elderly person in Eastern Europe. Trying to forget and putting behind the communism, the Eastern European societies forget and put behind also the millions of old people who once suffered so much under communism. This is the case also in society in Romania, where the gap between the future-pursuing young generation and the forgotten elderly is terrifyingly wide. “If you are old, you are a burden. We want to live our dreams, we don’t have time and finances to care for you.” This is the general attitude in the Eastern European societies. It is not easy to live with this stigma, especially after decades of heavy work in the communist industry, where not only the health was lost, but also the possibility of a decent pension. The elderly don’t feel ignored in Eastern Europe: they feel betrayed and abandoned.

“If you are old, you are a burden. We want to live our dreams, we don’t have time and finances to care for you.”

There is a general misconception in the world about the nature of the atheism of the communist regime. Most of the Christians think that the communists denied the existence of God on a materialist basis. But the atheism was not only a philosophy in Eastern Europe, but also a brutal and merciless spiritual torture of the Christians. The communists did not just say “there is no God” – this would be too simple; they said instead something much more harmful – “God will not help you, you are abandoned!” Denying God for Christians does not break the faith, but telling Christians that they are abandoned by the Lord is one of the most dangerous attacks on the faith.

After two decades of communism this merciless attitude is gaining territory in Eastern Europe. The form of it is slightly different, but the content is just the same: “In vain are you praying; God will not help you; the only power and reality is money, youth, beauty and health.” And these are exactly what almost every old person lacks in Eastern Europe.

Turning to the Word of God, with brotherly love, patience and care to the elderly is the strongest worship ever. In Eastern Europe every Christian is a shining mirror of the grace, love and care of the Lord to society. We live here in a “post-verbum” era: the words have no weight and have no meaning. The only reality can be found in the words that illustrate the reality of the Kingdom of God. The Holy Scriptures put such a strong emphasis on the responsibility to widows and orphans. God knows why, because He knows the heart of man.

Pastor Istvan Visky

Osorhei, Romania

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