Communism intended to be the religion of efficiency, pragmatism and equality through hard work and community values; the ideal sharing economy. Within this paradigm, the individual, the soul, the mind, the spiritual, were all considered distractions from the path they drafted for humanity: progress through physical work and equality for everyone. Sounds awesome? Well, perspectives: consider being equal to the ones on top for a few seconds. Lovely right? How about being equal to the less fortunate? This is a question we usually forget to ask ourselves when we think of equality, thanks to our illusory superiority & friends.
With this purpose in mind, progress through hard work, factories were built in the urban areas and farmers were brought to the cities. Old houses and churches were wiped out and blocks of flats were built instead. And this is pretty much where the Romanian story breaks apart from how religion and the regime got together in the Communist bloc. Although the Roman-Catholic church was severely persecuted by the regime (churches demolished, priests thrown in prisons and tortured), the Orthodox Church was quite a strong ally of The State (lots of priests were agents of The Securitate). It was a win-win deal: the submissive Church would continue to keep their lands and exert power, while also supporting the Communist doctrine, like a bad-ass marketing agency that has the best influencers, and an audience reach the size of internet access market in developed countries.
[WARNING: spoilers ahead! If you’re the type who likes to be surprised, you’d better stop reading.]
There’s still a romanticized view of how Communism persecuted the Church in Romania, but there's also the harsh reality of the snitches. Some confessions went directly to the files of The Securitate acting like an ancestor of web cookies. For such a a sneaky maneuver we just had to allocate a secret room and an achievement in Black The Fall.
The State had monopoly over any type of production and distribution, that was the rule and it was ok-ish for a while, but in the ‘80s the sugar hit the fan. Rationing made everyone’s life about survival. The rations for one portion were: half a bread a day, one kg of sugar/flour/rice and oil a month. On Christmas each person could have one kg of oranges and half a kg of chocolates. Store clerks had real power through their direct access to food, so the exchange network grew very strong among them. In the 80's offering bread to get some darn eggs was a victory for you and your family.
The Romanian Revolution is a mystery not yet entirely solved in terms of who was shooting who and why. It’s maybe an event too recent and to hurtful to be openly discussed. I mean not out of shyness, but for safety reasons for those involved.