Uncivil War

Romanian immigrants are having a hard time finding refuge in their own house of God

When it was Eva Farkas' turn, she said -- in English -- that she was there to defend her parents.

"Speak Romanian!" several people immediately shouted at her.

"You guys just believe any lies," Eva continued in her native tongue, undaunted. "I lost everything because I stood for this church, but I'm not afraid of this church."

Paolo Vescia
Emanuel Farkas with his wife, Margareta, and daughter Eva at their Glendale home.
RMS Titanic , Inc.
Emanuel Farkas with his wife, Margareta, and daughter Eva at their Glendale home.

She went on to say her younger sister, Diana, was refusing to attend Elim anymore because of the strife, and that had broken her heart.

Dorin Druhora stared impassively at Eva Farkas as she stepped off the pulpit, and returned to her seat next to her grandmother.


Last April, about 400 people gathered at Elim for a Sunday evening service. Conspicuous by their absence were still-exiled Ted and Zack Oprea, and the others who had been kept away by the court's injunction.

At the pulpit, a grade school girl standing behind the altar shyly approached a microphone.

"Since I was a child, I have believed in God," she sang in the sensuous language of her parents' homeland, her voice vibrant. "The kingdom of God is what we're searching for."

The service featured a wide selection of music, from entrancing folk melodies (many with lyrics about how wonderful mothers are) performed by a girls' choir, to a men's tuba orchestra doing oompah music. The latter was fronted by a girl on the piccolo.

Later in the three-hour service, associate pastor Dorel Michula spoke to the assemblage.

"A child's character has a lot to teach us," he said, his voice trembling with passion. "A child forgives easily. Adults take so long to forgive. Adults say hurtful words. We need to learn that God's kingdom is for those who forgive."

Hearing Michula, a weathered woman started to sob softly, soon joined by others around her.

"We are desperate," he continued, gesturing skyward. "Many times in this church, we have lost hope and don't know what to believe. I don't know what to believe, except that Jesus wants us to have peace. We need to give this peace to each other. Why is this not so? Only He knows."

Dorin Druhora sat in a chair a few feet from Michula, pokerfaced as ever. Weeks earlier, he had announced plans to leave Elim in the early summer.

In May, Druhora wrote to Judge Klausner, asking her to lift the injunctions against the six parishioners, but under one condition:

"Please, ask them to give you and to sign a written statement expressing their regrets and promising to cause no more trouble, verbal or physical abuse . . ."

A few days later, Klausner signed an order that allowed the six to return to Elim if they wished, but warned them to steer clear of Druhora. The judge ignored the pastor's request for a written apology from his enemies.

On June 3, Elim was filled to capacity as Druhora prepared to say goodbye. Things had come full circle: Eva Farkas and her parents were there, as were the Oprea brothers, keeping their distance from the pastor as ordered.

Jacob Cotan also was in attendance. A month earlier, on May 1, he'd filed a civil lawsuit against Druhora, the Elim church, its governing board, and the two Phoenix police officers who had the misfortune of working security that January morning. (That suit is pending in Maricopa County Superior Court.)

If the congregation expected a fiery farewell, it didn't get it.

"I don't want to have a goodbye speech," Druhora said, his voice barely audible, "because I don't want to disappear just like that. I will be back if you want me. If I did something wrong, it's my fault and I accept blame. If I did something good, it's due to His grace. You remain the sweetest church for me. I've learned patience and suffering here. You will never be replaced in my heart."

About a dozen people approached Druhora after the service to offer best wishes. But most kept their distance, huddled in groups at the back of the sanctuary.

The pastor bear-hugged a visitor, and made an urgent plea in English, as tears filled his eyes.

"You must disregard what you hear about me," he said. "I am not a bad man."


Soon after Dorin Druhora left for Missouri, the entire church board at Elim resigned.

Then, late last summer, a few hundred church members, including many of those who had resigned, also quit Elim and started the new Maranatha church. Some of them had donated thousands of dollars, and had spent untold hours at the church since coming to the States.

On a recent Sunday night, Marius Chelmagan worshiped at the gym/church with about 100 other parishioners. The 25-year-old Chelmagan explained that the low number was because of a wedding that night at Elim.

"It's going to be interesting over there tonight," he said, chuckling at the thought of ex-Elim parishioners returning like prodigal sons and daughters to their former church home. "People will be seeing each other for the first time since we came over here. Lots of bad blood, bad memories. Stupid stuff. But I'm sure everyone will be polite. At least I hope so." (The wedding went off without a hitch.)

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
6 comments
NihilSineDeo
NihilSineDeo

Its so sad that this story still lingers on the internet. I would be curious to see what all those people quoted in the article would say today about what happened that year. What would the Opreas say or the Farcas say? What about Cotan? What would you all say today about what happend? It might not mean a lot to most of you but it's sad that because of this article, people who don't know the facts, random people who were not part of what happened, will never know the truth about Elim and brother Druhora yet each time they will do a google search on "Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church" one of the first things that pops up is this "Uncivil War" article that is filled with lies. So much of the information in here is twisted and 

I was there when all these things happened and SO many people that were there know the truth and can testify to it and its too bad that they don't. It's sad that so many members sat silent in fear of a small group of people. What a shame! I no longer want to sit silent and im sorry that I did for such a long time.

I remember pastor Druhora when people would accuse him or say bad things to him, he would just say 'God is my justice" and surly we can all see that God was his justice. Even if his name is stained by this twisted and biased ariticle, written by someone got got paid well to write this, his character is not stained. 

Please ask yourself and do some reasearch - where are all the trouble makers? what are they saying today? what are they doing, where are they? As for Elim, it's sad that they did with pastor Lascau what they did to Druhora (except Lascau was gutty enough to tell them all off carelessly and Lascau did not get beat up at church as it happened to Druhora). 

I do not want my hands to be smeared with innocent blood so i testify today that the majority of this article is filled with lies. One day, we will all see the truth (if we haven't yet).


Luminita_simi09
Luminita_simi09

I can testify that Druhora is not the one that called the police (there are documents for all those who are really interested...not just empty words or guesses). Second of all, what the so called "Mr. Pop" declares, is a lie. It has been established in the court of law in Romania that all Mr. Pop said was a lie. I would be very careful to make such unlawful allegations (for which he almost went to jail if it wasn't for Mr. Druhora pleading with the judge). It's a HUGE thing to accuse someone of such things and I'm struck by the fact that Phoenix New Times keeps this article up. In a way I'm not surprised because many people today don't check their facts before posting something. Please people, check before you make statements that can stain someone's name for a long time...or more than that, that can harm the Church!!!

Luminita_simi09
Luminita_simi09

I agree with Noprea and the other two below as well. So much of what is written in this article is untrue!!! But there will be a judgment day one day and all the truth will be revealed. I was there and saw what happened to Druhora and it's quite a different story than what is written in this article. I wonder how much Paul Rubin got paid to write this or where exactly he received this information.

Noprea
Noprea

Unde sunt cei care au luptat impotriva lui Druhora ; Basa, Gimon, Tavi, Cotan, Ciurdar,Goman, Olariu, etc.??????????????????????. -Sa ma fereasca D-zeu sa ma ating dwuasul D-lui. About YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul
Paul

As I do not know the details of the allegation against Dorin, nor do I have the capacity to investigate them, I can not add any meaningful support or defense against or for the allegations.

However, what I will say is that I have had long talks with Dorin and gotten to know his family personally in the past. I have found him to be an outstanding person with character, sound mind, balance and wisdom. He is able to understand both the Romanian culture and the American culture. If he has intentionally done harm, it would be the greatest surprise of my life. We all do make mistakes, and I'm sure he has as well, but I would be extremely hard pressed to believe that he had done intentional personal, physical, political or financial harm to anyone.

I hope that all the churches and members are doing well.

mircea volosen
mircea volosen

Druhora Dorin was a clasmate in high school .He came from a well educated family .His father was a scool superintendent .I took Dorin to a penticostal church in Timisoara and God changed his life forever . He was persecuted by the school , secret police, communist party and his family. He was expeled from the school because he became a christian . His name was all over the romanian newspaper and given as an example of somebody who lost his mind becaming a penticostal . It is so sad to see all this lies . Dorin is my hero . 6825570686

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets
Loading...