Whether you catch your news from the evening broadcast or from any major news network online, you may have been following some big news from Romania in the past couple of weeks. On October 30, a massive fire in a Bucharest nightclub resulted in the deaths of 54 people and well over 100 injured. There's widespread speculation that the main reason this large club was able to operate and secure permits for this high-attendance event was due to bribery and corruption, likely on several key levels. Paul and I have been witnesses to bribery and corruption even in our small town in Reghin, and as far back as 2003, large government task forces have been set up to try to 'clean house' in a country fraught with political controversy since the fall of communism in 1989.
Recent protests following the nightclub fire have sprung up not only in Bucharest, where over 35,000 people have taken to the streets, but also in the other major cities of Romania like Cluj and Sibiu. Following the first night of protests after the fire, our criminally corrupt Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, resigned, as well as two other high-ranking officials tied to the fire. It's a time of great unrest.
Politics aside, the nightclub fire is a huge tragedy for our country. While only about 30 people died at the actual fire, the last two weeks have seen the death toll steadily climb as victims succumb to their injuries and the dangerous toxins released by the fire. The nightclub had no fire sprinklers or evacuation plan, and there was only one exit door unlocked for the more than 400 people to escape through once everyone realized what was happening. It must have been a terrifying ordeal for all.
Several helpful articles have been published in the wake of all these events. I invite you to take a closer look at the political turmoil here and to commit to prayer the victims and their families. Please also pray for wise men and women of integrity to be appointed to lead this nation as it struggles to move forward.
Here's the very informative Wikipedia article about the Colectiv nightclub fire.
Here's a Vox article explaining the Romanian protests.
Here's an article from EUROPP that dives deeper into the resignation of the Prime Minister and what it means for our country.