Dumitru Roman served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Romania during the difficult years of repression.
Dumitru Roman was born on July 9, 1919.1 In 1950 he was appointed as a pastor in the Târnăveni district, being assigned with the building of a new church. He mastered many languages, such as Hungarian, German, Russian, and had a fairly good knowledge of the Czech language, too.
One day, the conference sent a directive related to the celebration of the 23rd day of August, the then Romania National Day, to be read in the church. Since the pastor was on vacation with his family, the elder of the church read it. The pastor couldn’t be blamed for not having presented the directive personally. However, the authorities used his absence as a pretext to harass him.
Roman was arrested because of his faith. The authorities traced his movements and one evening, when he returned home to his family, he was summoned to go to the city hall. From there, Roman was taken to an unknown location where he was beaten several times until he fainted. Whenever he recovered, he was beaten again.
Following this incident, Roman’s health started to deteriorate. Inexplicably, the church leaders decided to transfer him to Petroșani, though his colleagues did not see this transfer with favor because, they were convinced this appointment would ultimately mean a safe death. Moreover, he was entrusted him with the same task for which he was punished, that is, to build five more churches in the whole district that covered the distance between Lupeni to Arad. These churches (Petroșani, Ciopeea, Simeria Veche and two others) were built in a few years. Roman had to organize and follow the building process in a time when it was extremely dangerous and difficult to build churches.
He was repeatedly harassed and kept under control in Petroșani because the authorities attempted to hinder his ministerial efforts.2
Death and Contribution
On February 7th, 1957, Roman passed away at the age of 38 after he was poisoned.3 He had been hospitalized for a period of time, but was sent home because his condition deteriorated severely. Although Dumitru Roman died at a young age, he was instrumental in the establishment of several churches in Romania during the difficult years of repression and persecution experienced by Christians.
Modoran, Gheorghe. Biserica prin pustiul rosu. Rezistenta si compromis in adventismul din Romania in perioada comunista (1944-1965) [The Church Through the Red Desert: Resistance and Compromise in Adventism in Romania during the Communist Period (1944-1965)]. Pantelimon: Viata si Sanatate, 2013.
Most of the information contained herein is based on Gheorghe Modoran, Biserica prin pustiul rosu. Rezistenta si compromis in adventismul din Romania in perioada comunista (1944-1965) [The Church Through the Red Desert: Resistance and Compromise in Adventism in Romania during the Communist Period (1944-1965)](Pantelimon: Viata si Sanatate, 2013), 537-540.↩
He also came into conflict with the Conference officers since he was one of the few pastors who did not fully cooperate with the administration of the Union president, Ștefan Năilescu.↩
This information on Dumitru Roman came from his daughter, dr. Margareta Graur.↩