The Role of Religion in the System of Social and Medical Services in Post-Communism Romania

Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, Vol. 10, No. 28, pp. 65-83, Spring 2011

19 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2011  

Daniela Cojocaru

Alexandru Ioan Cuza UNiversity, Department of Sociology and Social Work

Stefan Cojocaru

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Department of Sociology and Social Work

Antonio Sandu

Stefan cel Mare University; Lumen Association

Date Written: February 20, 2011

Abstract

This article aims to examine the phenomenon of social services in post-1989 Romania, underscoring the role of the religious factor in the establishment and operation of nongovernmental organisations active in the area of family and child protection/child welfare. The results are based on empirical data collected from interviews with representatives of NGOs in Iaşi that correspond to the profile of faith-based organisations and which have been included in the list of accredited providers of social services. We used an assessment grid that allowed us to highlight a number of specific characteristics to the Romanian space, found among faith-based organisations involved in the development of social and medical services. One direction that Romanian organisation took was to dilute in time the religious message and to secularise their practices under the influence of the Orthodox majority, as well as following the requirements imposed by secular donors and especially by public ones. The channelling of private resources donated to religious cults predominantly towards building and restoring establishments (churches, monasteries) rather than towards the development of social faith-based programmes aimed at vulnerable populations has caused in faith-based organisations a high level of dependency on secular donors. The process in which the practices and the discourse are secularised is accompanied by a trend towards the fragmentation of the Christian-based civil society.

Keywords: faith-based organisations, religion, social and medical services, secularisation, NGOs

Suggested Citation

Cojocaru, Daniela and Cojocaru, Stefan and Sandu, Antonio, The Role of Religion in the System of Social and Medical Services in Post-Communism Romania (February 20, 2011). Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, Vol. 10, No. 28, pp. 65-83, Spring 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1767661

Daniela Cojocaru

Alexandru Ioan Cuza UNiversity, Department of Sociology and Social Work ( email )

B-dul Carol I nr.11
Iaşi, RO-700506
Romania

HOME PAGE: http://www.uaic.ro

Stefan Cojocaru

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Department of Sociology and Social Work ( email )

B-dul Carol I nr.11
Iaşi, Iasi RO-700506
Romania
004032201054 (Phone)
004032201154 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uaic.ro

Antonio Stefan Sandu (Contact Author)

Stefan cel Mare University

Suceava
Romania

Lumen Association ( email )

Tepes Voda nr 2
Iasi
Romania

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