On July 13, 2023, the Romanian Patriarchate and the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova, institutions represented by Patriarch Daniel and Secretary of State Adrian Dupu, signed a Cooperation Protocol.
Metropolitan Petru of Bessarabia was also present at the event.
Constantly mindful of the significance of fostering identity consciousness and fortifying ties with Romanians in the Republic of Moldova, the Romanian Patriarchate, through its entities on the left bank of the Prut River, which are organized into dioceses, ensures the spiritual, cultural, and national identity of Bessarabian Romanians.
As a spiritual mother who never abandons her sons and daughters, the Romanian Orthodox Church has always cared for her believers in the Republic of Moldova, both through her prayers and by supporting concrete construction, pastoral, social-philanthropic, and cultural-educational activities within the Metropolis of Bessarabia, through its three dioceses in Bessarabia.
The Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova contributes to the implementation of the Romanian state policy aimed at strengthening the community of language, culture, religion, spirituality, and history, which is the foundation of Romania’s relationship with the Republic of Moldova and works to strengthen ties and preserve, develop, and express the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious identity of the Republic of Moldova’s citizens.
Respecting the principles of free competition, efficiency, transparency, and equal treatment, the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova provides non-refundable funding and other forms of financial support to the Romanian communities in the Republic of Moldova.
Through this Cooperation Protocol, the parties affirm their intention and desire to identify the steps necessary to support the Romanian Orthodox communities in the Republic of Moldova, with the primary objective being the coordination of the efforts of the two institutions in order to use their respective expertise and skills for the development of joint projects and actions that will strengthen the spiritual and cultural identity of Bessarabian Romanians.
The most significant points of this Cooperation Protocol include the following:
- The construction, repair, preservation, and endowment of churches in the Republic of Moldova, under the jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Bessarabia;
- The renovation and maintenance of museums, memorial houses, historical monuments, cemeteries, and the like, as the protection and revitalization of Romanian traditions and customs;
- Educational projects for the Romanian Orthodox communities in the Republic of Moldova;
- The construction, renovation, maintenance, and endowment of the libraries of the Romanian Orthodox communities in the Republic of Moldova;
- Supporting cultural events for Romanian Orthodox communities in the Republic of Moldova;
- The parties will make every effort to strengthen the educational, spiritual, and identity role of the Orthodox parishes and monasteries under the jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Bessarabia;
- The parties will make joint efforts to support the projects promoted by the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova, including by making available, as far as possible, the spaces used by the parishes of the Metropolis of Bessarabia;
- The parties will make joint efforts to conduct religious classes within the “Sunday School” project to familiarise children with the Orthodox faith, the connection between the Romanian people and Christianity, and respect for religious freedom.