Contact: Kim Pettit
ChristianTrade Association International
+1 (719) 432-8428
Marketsquare Europe 2010, held 1 to 2 October 2010 in Oradea, Romania, was the occasion for ChristianTrade’s third “European Christian Book of the Year” competition.
“The European Christian Book of the Year award presented at Marketsquare Europe is a great opportunity to highlight the contributions of publishers outside the U.S.,” says Kim Pettit, chief operating officer for ChristianTrade Association International. “There are excellent titles being published every day by our brothers and sisters around the world, and this is a way to honor their work.”
First place was won by the book Redeeming Our Memory (Rascumpararea memoriei) by Romanian pastor Vasilica Croitor, author and founder of Succeed Publishing.
“The European Christian Book of the Year is selected in such a way that local books are handicapped,” says Pettit, “because we want every book to have a fair chance. Romanians are not allowed to vote on a Romanian book for first place, Ukrainians cannot vote for a Ukrainian book for first place, and so on. This was a close vote and the win was well-deserved.”
At the Celebration Banquet held October 1, Croitor told Marketsquare Europe participants that he wrote about how the Pentecostal Church in Romania handled the time of communism: who was an informer, who was not, how to judge those who collaborated with security forces, how communists infiltrated the church—to the point that they removed all victory-oriented songs from Pentecostal hymn books, he said—and how the church kept silent about what happened in that era.
The book has garnered reviews in both Christian and secular media. Among the book’s many endorsements is one from Michael Wurmbrand, son of Tortured for Christ author and founder of Voice of the Martyrs Richard Wurmbrand. Ion Zubascu, columnist and editor at Bucharest newspaper Romania Libera, noted that “Redeeming Our Memory is a solid volume of true history, based on the study of thousands of documents, many interviews and research [through the] archives of the Communist regime… Vasilica Croitor unveils the ideology, institutions, church context, social context, and even the psychological mindset that made up the complex world of Romanian churches between 1945 and 1989.”
The book’s success has surprised Croitor. “I did not think the book would appeal to very many people,” he confessed. “But young people in my country grew up with no knowledge of the past. I wrote the book and dedicated it to my children because I want them to know the heroes of the faith.” Croitor started a blog 40 days before launching Redeeming Our Memory, and the response was immediate. “The first printing sold out,” says Croitor. “The second printing is almost sold out.”
“Our vision at ChristianTrade is to see excellent Christian resources impact the lives of people everywhere,” adds Pettit, “so it is a thrill to recognize books that make key contributions to the Body of Christ.”
Vocatio Publishing’s Character Builders series of books for young children came in second. The full-color illustrated titles by Justyna Waclawik and Piotr Haraszewski also include guidelines for parents written by such well-known authors as Josh McDowell and Gary Chapman.
The Journey to Your Dream, a book for teens by Sergiy Mykhaylyk of Baruch Publishing in Kiev, Ukraine, received an honorable mention.
“Plan now to join Marketsquare Europe next year,” says Pettit, “and to take part in the European Christian Book of the Year competition.” Details for the next show will be posted on the ChristianTrade web site as soon as they are available. For more information about ChristianTrade activities around the globe, please visit http://www.ChristianTrade.com.
ChristianTrade Association International is a worldwide association of nations, companies, and individuals committed to fulfilling the Great Commission by distributing Christian resources. It holds international regional conventions in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America; publishes an annual Christian-trade directory; hosts international events at CBA’s International Christian Retail Show; and serves as a catalyst for growing the Christian trade worldwide. For more information, please visit www.ChristianTrade.com or e-mail info@ChristianTrade.com.