In a remote valley in Maramures, Rumania, on a rise outside the village, stands a wooden church: a black building measuring 8 x 10 meters, which—like other old churches in that area—can be seen from a distance because of its towering spire.
ONE Sunday during a trip in the summer of 1991, I joined the village faithful going to church. In that narrow space that was about 400 years old, the simple but powerful religious paintings on the wall seemed to be present too, as part of the faith that has continued for centuries, even during the time of Communist rule.
But there were no women.
The space was for men only. The women were outside. They were only allowed to stand and peer through...