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Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe north of the Balkan Peninsula on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea. Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to the northeast, and Bulgaria to the south.
At 238,391 square kilometers (92,043 sq mi), Romania is the ninth largest of the European Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with 21.5 million people. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, the sixth largest city in the EU with about two million people.
- Location: Southeastern Europe bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine
- Size: Slightly smaller than Oregon with a total of 238,397 square kilometers. It is the 82nd largest country in the world.
- Population: 21,959,278 (53rd most populous country in the world)
- 54% of the population lives in urban areas.
- In 2005, 25% of the population was below the poverty line.
- Language: Romanian
- 97% of population is literate
- Government: Republic
- Capital: Bucharest
- Religion: Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 86.8%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformate and Pentecostal) 7.5%, Roman Catholic 4.7%, other (mostly Muslim) and unspecified 0.9%, none 0.1%.
- More than a quarter of the Romanian population does not have an evangelical fellowship in their community. (38%)
- About 1600 Romanian villages with over 1000 residents does not have an evangelical fellowship.
The Kingdom of Romania emerged when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were united under Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza in 1859 under the Hohenzollern monarchy. The independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared on May 9, 1877, and was internationally recognized the following year. At the end of the World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the Kingdom of Romania. Greater Romania emerged into an era of progression and prosperity that would continue until World War II. By the end of the War, many north-eastern areas of Romania’s territories were occupied by the Soviet Union, and Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact.
With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the 1989 Revolution, Romania started a series of political and economic reforms. After a decade of post-revolution economic problems, Romania made economic reforms and joined the European Union on January 1, 2007. Romania is now an upper-middle income country with high human development, although within the European Union, Romania’s income level remains one of the lowest.
Romania also joined NATO on March 29, 2004, and is also a member of the Latin Union, of the Francophonie, of the OSCE and of the United Nations, as well as an associate member of the CPLP. Today, Romania is a unitary parliamentary republic.
According to a government census, nearly 2,500 Romanian children are living in the streets and sewers, and 100,000 live in some form of institutional care in state orphanages, group homes, and various forms of foster care. In addition there are tens of thousands of other children that live below the poverty level.
There have been numerous attempts to improve the child welfare system as Romania entered into the European Union in 2007. Unfortunately there still appear to be signs of abuse, neglect, and indifference much of which can be attributed to poverty, inadequate education, and under or unemployment.