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Court Rejects Romanian's Legal Claim of Being Alive

A man returned to his native country to find that the authorities no longer believed in his existence upon this mortal plane. Constantin Reliu, 63, returned to Romania after a 20-year-stay in Turkey to find that the Romanian government, at his wife's urging, had previously declared him deceased.

Unable to corroborate any details with his wife, the Associated Press conducted a phone interview with Reliu from his residence in Barlad. "I am a living ghost. I am officially dead, although I'm alive. I have no income, and because I am dead, I cannot do anything."

Reliu explained that in the early nineties, he left to work in Turkey. Upon returning and discovering his wife's infidelity, he decided to leave again for good—or so he thought. In December of 2017, Reliu was detained by Turkish officials for having outdated residency documents, and was deported back to Romania in January where he discovered that authorities believed him already to be dead.

Border agents subjected Reliu to six hours of testing and questioning, asking him topographical questions about his hometown and measuring the contours of his face compared to old passport photos. They finally released him after their investigation was satisfied.

Officials in Barlad, however, were not as accommodating. Citing his delay as a clerical error, they denied his request to overturn the death certificate on the basis of it being too late.

Potential Preaching Angles: 1) Even when presented with evidence, people have a hard time believing the truth. Innocent people suffer when others fail to take responsibility for their mistakes. 2) This story also illustrates a wonderful truth for Christians-we are also legally dead but alive. Since we died in Christ, sin and death have no power over us.

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