The anniversary coin representing patriarch Miron Cristea was issued by BNR upon the request of the Romanian Patriarchy to mark the double celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Romanian Orthodox Church and 85 years since the setting up of the Romanian Patriarchy, says a press release of the central bank. To celebrate these events, BNR had a double coin issue with a gold coin and five silver ones representing symbols of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
“The symbols chosen for this issue devoted to the double anniversary of the Romanian Orthodox Church are connected to the history of the fundamental institution of Romanian society, an institution which played an essential role in defining and developing the national and cultural identity of Romania. If we refer to Romanian patriarchs they played a crucial role in the development of the Romanian Orthodox Church, being outstanding personalities who illustrated the history of the Church and the history of Romania”, the BNR press release reads.
Miron Cristea’s inclusion in this issue is not connected to his short activity as Romania’s premier but he is one of the patriarchs of the Romanian Orthodox Church.BNR representatives say the “BNR coin issues do not intend to hurt the feelings of any community or convey xenophobic, racist or anti-Semitic messages”.
The BNR reaction is an answer to the request made by representatives of the Holocaust Museum from the US to withdraw the coin presenting Miron Cristea saying that the former leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church had anti-Semitic views and militated to chase Jews from Romania.Radu Ioanid, the director of the Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington said he was “shocked” by the decision of the central bank to issue a coin to celebrate the former leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church over 1925-1939.According to Ioanid, Miron Cristea, who was Romania’s premier in 1938-1939 is responsible for the revision of the citizenship law by which about 225,000 Jews, 37% of the Jewish population in Romania were deprived of Romanian citizenship.Ioanid asked BNR to withdraw the coin by a private letter sent on 29 July to BNR governor Mugur Isarescu, which he then sent to Associated Press.