The parish Church in Romanian village Bákó (Bacău) was filled up with Csángó people (Hungarian ethnic minority in Transylvania) after the Jászvásár diocese allowed to hold a Hungarian-speaking mass after almost 30 years. Since the change of the communist system, the Hungarian ethnic group, ‘Csángó’ people, were not allowed to go to Hungarian masses, only to Romanian ones.
At the end of January 2019, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jászvásár (Iași) allowed to hold monthly Hungarian-speaking masses on Sundays, reported origo.hu. Their church is near the Main Square of Bákó, a 144,000-citizen city in Romania with only a couple of hundreds of Hungarian and Csango population. Since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the Jászvásár Csangos have always been refused to hold a separate Hungarian mass in the Jászvásár area. Finally, however, they can be excited and proud because, for the first time, a mass only for Csangos took place. The last time that the diocese allowed to hold Hungarian masses here regularly was in 1884.
Csangos came to Bákó from 6-8 different villages, wearing traditional folk costumes.
Priest János Ciobanu emphasised that the believers should live an exemplary life, even after these 30 years of fighting for one single permission of the Hungarian-language masses. Tinka Nyisztor, the leader responsible for religious relationships at the Iași Csango-Hungarian Association, noted that they do not give up on allowing to hold Hungarian masses regularly in the Csango villages.
Nyisztor Tinka also said that they consider Hungarian mass in Bákó especially important before Pope Francis’s arrival in June to Csíksomlyó.
Csángó’s, the hidden minority ethnic group in Transylvania
Hungarian researchers’ estimation about the number of Csango’s in the Catholic region is around 40 thousand; they speak Hungarian or some type of mixture with the Romanian language. However, in the whole world, there are approximately 320,000 Csango people, from whom eighty or ninety thousand speak Hungarian. Dividing Csango’s into three groups by area of residency, there are Jászvásár, Gyimes (Ghimeș) and Barcaság (Țara Bârsei) Csangos, but they also live in regions like Bessarabia and Hotin’s surroundings. By population, the most of Csangos live in the Jászvásár (Iași) region of Romania (180,000); surprisingly, there are about 80,000 Csangos listed in Italy, 20:20 thousand in Barcaság and Gyimes, also 5500 Csangos in Tolna county, Hungary and other parts of Romania, Moldova and Ukraine.