(Daily Signal) You've probably heard of Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia and Lech Walesa of Poland, both Nobel Laureates and heroes of the Cold War who precipitated the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe a quarter-century ago.
But how many of us know the story of Laszlo Tokes, a Protestant pastor who in December 1989 stood up to the Romanian communist despot Nicolae Ceausescu and sparked a people's revolution that freed Romania from a tyranny the equal of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin?
In the spring of 1989, while other Soviet satellites were challenging their communist leaders, Romania remained in the iron grip of the totalitarian Ceausescu regime. Few dared to speak out against "President" Ceausescu and his Stalinist secret police, the Securitate.
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A notable exception was 37-year-old Laszlo Tokes, the assistant pastor of the Hungarian Reformed Church in the Transylvanian town of Timisoara. The theme of his sermons was simple but arresting: "We do not have to support the dictatorship and the dictator Ceausescu." No one had dared utter such a public challenge.