having personal experience of romania and romanians, i can say that decent Christian teaching is actually not available in many romanian orthodox churches. i realise this is a fairly controversial thing for an orthodox Christian to say,
but i have had many conversations with my romanian orthodox friends which lead me to conclude that there are many people like in john's story who think it is enough to go to church once or twice a year and make the sign of the cross when passing a church. occasionally they fast, but sadly this is sometimes instead of going to church, not as well as it!
we have the same problem in the uk. our 'state religion' was not watered down by persecution and the occasional drunken priest, but by centuries of general apathy and the allowance of non-Christian teaching ('just be a good person and God will take care of you') alongside genuine gospel readings and songs with reasonably good theology (if, often, terribly dreary tunes). actually the dreary tunes unwittingly added to the general apathy. thank God, many anglicans are finding the orthodox church. i was anglican in the year before i joined the ranks of the happy orthodox.
groups in romania like the Lord's army (orthodox) are working hard at restoring the old orthodox teachings to the orthodox church, and lives are being changed as a result. they tend not to talk about the protestants (the 'repented ones'; 'pocaiti' in romanian) in very negative ways. this is a good change from the usual orthodox tendancy. being terribly rude to the heterodox is simply not Christian. unfortunately the opposite (being polite about the orthodox) is not as common.
it is interesting that the author of the site, trewin, makes a reasonably balanced conclusion from the stories presented (i read them both), and about 80% of his recommendations for the orthodox church are worth a look.
what is really outstanding, is that this man, from a protestant romanian background even considers the romanian orthodox church has anything to offer. you would really have to have met / lived with protestant romanians (i have) to realise that this is a huge, immeasurable leap for them.
i pray fervently that God leads him further to discover the true treasures of orthodox Christianity for himself.
also i pray that there will be many people who are willing to lay down the old animosity and look for the original, loving Christianity that is/should be (delete as appropriate!) in the orthodox church.
i'll bet u a double chocolate cheesecake (or a vegan orange cake if you read this tomorrow) that 'john' is a real person.
i have met many like him.