By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Staff Correspondent
CHISINAU, Moldova—The Moldovan Parliamentary had elections on April 5 and the communist party won 50 percent of the seats. Many Moldovans, especially students, believe the elections were unfair. When results were announced on April 6, people began to peacefully protest the election as fraudulent. Through Twitter, an Internet social networking tool, the call went out for more protesters and over 10,000 people came to Chisinau, the nation’s capital.
By noon some of the protestors became violent, throwing rocks through windows in the presidential building and setting fires in both buildings. Some leaders of opposition parties tried to quiet the protesters and prevent the riots, but were unsuccessful. Fights broke out between the police and protestors and at least one protestor died. The government shut down Facebook and Twitter, which has been many people’s primary source of news.
Moldovan Christians are asking Christians around the world to pray for their country. They observed a day of prayer and fasting on April 10.
One of the concerns of the evangelical churches in Moldova is that they will be blamed for the riots and their religious freedoms limited.
One Moldovan Christian wrote in an email, “Many of the Christians look at the recent events with despair. The events of the week will be remembered as riots, the communist party will punish those who played a part, or at least those who look the part. And within a few weeks all this will be but a memory, with a mild, lingering fear and the repercussions of more media censorship and the promulgation of lies.”
That fear increased when government shut the Internet down for two days.
“The tension in the society is very high. The official authorities continue to accuse the opposition parties for the violence and riots that happened on Tuesday. Many young people are arrested, independent journalists are threatened and intimidated, several foreign journalists were expelled and many Internet sites are closed,” said another Moldovan.
“Please, pray for the peace and freedom in Moldova. Pray for the evangelical community; we might face great challenges, including persecution. Urge your politicians to support us during these extremely difficult trials for our nation,” a Moldovan Christian said in an email.