A Revolution's Unlikely Spark

As pastor of the Hungarian Reformed Church in the Transylvanian city of & Timisoara, the Rev. Laszlo Tokes seemed an unlikely figure to spark a revolution. But Tokes, 37, possessed a sharp tongue at a time when that attribute was rare in Rumania. Not only did he lash out against the tyrannical regime in Bucharest, but he even accused Hungarian Reformed Church leaders of collaborating with communist authorities.

No cause aroused Tokes's wrath more than the plight of his fellow 1.7 million ethnic Hungarians, who make up 8% of the Rumanian population and are concentrated in Transylvania, the country's westernmost region....