Seeding The Urantia Book in Romania

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Timothy Minasian

By Timothy Minasian, New Hampshire, United States

Editor’s Note: In this story, an American reader tells of his recent trip to donate a book to the National Library of Romania.

In October of this year, I flew from Boston to Bucharest, Romania, for eight days to visit a British friend I knew from living in the same residential compound when I worked in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Peter and I remained in contact over the years, and when he and his wife, Angela, invited me to visit them in Bucharest, I readily accepted and began planning the trip. Moreover, I figured my trip to Romania would provide an excellent opportunity to donate a copy of The Urantia Book to the National Library of Romania.

I’d done something similar in 1995 when I traveled to Russia and donated my personal copy of the book to the Russian State Library in Moscow. I got to speak with the Director of Foreign Book Donations, who spoke perfect English. My personal book was a 1955 first printing. (Upon reflection, I wish I’d kept that book due to its sentimental value and donated a newer book.) The director could see that The Urantia Book was a quality piece and asked some very probing questions regarding its nature. I knew I had to answer very carefully: At that time many American evangelical groups were in Russia proselytizing their form of Christianity, and there was beginning to be a backlash by the Russian people and the Russian Orthodox Church. So, when the director asked what the book was about, I replied it was about metaphysics, geology, the nature of the universe, religion, and other subjects. Broadly speaking, I knew the Russians are very interested in the metaphysical, so I chose to highlight that aspect of The Urantia Book. It seemed to work in Moscow, so I decided to use the same approach in Bucharest.

During the summer of 2018 I spoke with Tamara Strumfeld at Urantia Foundation and asked if there were any Romanian readers I could contact during my trip. She put me in touch with Marcel Tudoran, a teacher in the Romanian province of Transylvania and a devoted Urantia Book reader. We tried to coordinate a meet and greet while I was there, but our individual schedules didn’t allow it.

The faith is strong with Marcel, and he has helped the Foundation with the Romanian translation. However, he seems frustrated with the lack of progress in the dissemination and acceptance of The Urantia Book in Romania, which is a majority Christian country dominated by the Romanian Orthodox Church. Marcel suggested I donate a book to the Patriarchate of the church, and I considered the suggestion, but I wasn’t mentally prepared for such an interaction. From my reading of Romanian history and from what I observed while I was there, I don’t think it would’ve been well received by the senior priests in the Romanian Orthodox patriarchy anyway.

Instead, I donated a book to the National Library of Romania, an impressive, modern structure of glass and steel. Peter and I presented ourselves to the receptionist in the lobby and said we wished to donate a book. She called the Director of Foreign Book Donations, who met us in the lobby. The director walked us down the hall and into a large room filled with books stacked high on long tables, where three ladies were classifying and cataloguing books donated by foreigners. It looked like a big job. The director requested I fill in the necessary form for donations and when I saw the box to indicate who the author(s) were, I paused. We Urantia Book readers know that The Urantia Book has multiple authors who are non-terrestrials, but try and explain that to a Director of Foreign Book Donations. And so, I just wrote “Urantia Foundation” as the author. The act of donation seemed a bit anticlimactic after all the preparation, but who knows who will eventually find the book, begin reading, and take it to heart.

I enjoyed my trip to Romania and came away with positive feelings for the people and the country in general. I believe that Romania has a strong potential to be a prosperous and peaceful country. This is why it is so important to engage in seeding The Urantia Book everywhere in the world, including smaller countries and those with a turbulent history. It’s for the future.

Foundation Info

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