Six-Week-Old Baby Killed in Baptism Gone Awry

A Romanian Orthodox priest sinks a child during a baptism at a church in Bucharest in May 2014.


A six-week-old child has died after suffering a heart attack during a baptism ceremony in an Orthodox Church in Romania, according to reports.

The incident happened in the city of Suceava at the “Church” of St. Constantin and Elena, where according to Orthodox ordinances, the baby was completely submerged three times for the ceremony.

Emerging unresponsive, he was rushed to the hospital where he was resuscitated and put on a ventilator, then succumbed to his injuries.

According to the child’s father, during the autopsy doctors found 110 mm of liquid in the baby’s lungs.

He told local paper Monitorul de Suceava that he was outraged at the priest’s behavior, particularly because his child was born premature and was “fragile” (Note: We’re using Google Translate for the translation).

The boy was crying, but the priest immersed him three times in water and he inhaled water…

The baby had blood on his nose. I put him face down to get the water out. He didn’t recover.

The priest who performed the baptism, Alexandru Mazarache, was ordained in 2007 and was experienced in the task, having overseeing baptisms for nearly 15 years, according to his Archbishop Doru Budeanu.

Despite the outcry and a petition to cease the practice, he said that the method of baptism will not change, but that “more attention will probably be needed to keep the nose and mouth above the water.”

The baptism was filmed and Police say the priest may be charged with manslaughter.


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8 thoughts on “Six-Week-Old Baby Killed in Baptism Gone Awry

  1. How could the parents just stand there and let him do that. Maybe sprinkling would be better like us Presbyterians do. Not that that Romanian church was a true one anyway.

    1. Baptism literally means to “immerse”. That’s what Baptism is. Threefold immersion is the correct way to baptize, going all the way back to the early church, just read the Didache! It describes immersion or pouring as the correct way to baptize. No mention of sprinkling.

      For infant baptisms in 99% of Orthodox churches, the baby is immersed up to his neck and they water is poured over his/her head. The child is not “dunked” in most cases, it’s very gentle. No worse then getting their hair washed at home.

      (Side note, funny how Baptisms love to make the claim that they “brought back” baptism by immersion when Orthodox churches have been doing it that way before “Baptists” were a thought in anyone’s mind).

      1. Interesting. Please give us the scripture from the bible where it records a infant being “immersed” three times. Also please tell us when the Orthodox church translated the Scriptures into the English language and where this Bible can be purchased.

        1. The Bible doesn’t “record” a lot of things. Infant baptism is supported by the church fathers and the “reformers” such as Calvin, Zwingli, and Luther (but “Reformed Baptists” know better then the founders of the Reformation and the Church Fathers, right?). Infant baptism isn’t explicitly mentioned must it’s implied in that the Apostles baptized entire households, which would have included infants and children.

          Threefold immersion is mentioned in early church writings such as the Didache, was supported by the church fathers, and was a common practice for centuries for *both* adults and infants. Believers were baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

          We mostly use the KJV during English speaking church services. You can buy that in most book stores.

          1. The words of Christ state: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16 

            Infants are unable to understand the concept of sin and salvation, they are under the age of accountability.
            When the scriptures mention the so-called “household baptisms,” they said that all believers in the households were baptized. In each example of “household baptism,” the people who were baptized were ones who had believed in the Gospel of Christ in order to receive salvation and forgiveness on sin. To assert otherwise is to put an unnecessary strain on the text by not proving scripture with scripture (see Mat 3:6; Act 18:8; Acts 8:37-38; Romans 10:10-11)

            Calvin, Zwingli, and Luther did not base their beliefs on Scripture alone but “Scripture plus the sword of the state” as they kept key doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church which is contrary to the scriptures: notably: infant baptism, a state church, and persecution of those who did not fall into their doctrine by hanging, burning at the stake, prison, and torture. They basically committed the same atrocities to the Anabaptists as the Catholics did to them.

            Any teaching of the “early church fathers” or the reformers that contradict the teachings of Christ are worthless Matt 15:7-9: Mark 7:9; Col_2:8

  2. There was a story just like this a few years ago her in the US. There are several YouTube videos of Orthodox priests plunging babies into the water three times for baptism that are scary as heck. I don’t believe baptizing a baby has any effect on it spiritually, but if you’re going to even do that then do it the catholic/anglican/presbyterian way and just put a few drops on its head.

  3. Arguing over sprinkling versus immersion is a little ridiculous to be honest. The act is symbolic. The water does not have power so it matters not whether one is dunked or sprinkled. Who cares? As long as one is baptized that’s all the matters. And even then it is not necessary for salvation. The thief on the cross wasn’t baptized, yet Jesus told him that he’d be with him that day in paradise. Stop arguing amongst yourselves over something that isn’t of eternal consequences. We have a fight on our hands with the world in case you have missed the last couple of years. We need to stand together, not bicker over the mode of baptism.

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