What comes to mind when a person today thinks of the word “Communism”? Does a person think of black and white films of the Stalin regime on the History Channel? Do people imagine clean cut soldiers marching high to a drummer’s beat, rifles on shoulder, and fitted caps tipped up? These images, grim as they are, come to my mind along with several thoughts of Jews in Nazi Germany, and people in China who suffer for their faith in Christ, because of tight Communist control. Why talk about something going on halfway across the world to people we’ll never even see? Surely here in the West we are informed about everything going on with Christians under Communism? No, not really.
Recently I picked up a book that I was able to order for free off of the Internet—Tortured for Christ (1967) by Richard Wurmbrand. This Wurmbrand is the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs organization. They relay info from different parts of the world where Christianity is suppressed. They also help to support the Underground Church worldwide. Recently, as I read this book my eyes were gradually opened to the sufferings of the Underground Church in Romania, Russia, etc. Wurmbrand was a prisoner for 14 years total in Romania. The first eight and a half years he was tortured, starved, threatened, seared with hot brands, etc. His wife had received (at one point) the news (which was a lie) that her husband had died in prison. So, their son Mihai had to face the issue of earning a living at a very young age.
Having had been drugged and tortured physically, psychologically, and emotionally, Wurmbrand tells of the woes of prison life, and how these trials made his faith strong as iron. The stories that he tells are vivid descriptions of horrendous events that could almost make you nauseous to just read about. He tells of one man who saw his own son slowly beat to death before his very eyes. When the man saw the relentless attack upon his son, he urged his son to deny Christ so the beatings would stop. However, the son, brave and pure, wished to die for Christ and the church. So, the man saw these things happen to his son, and was scarred for the rest of his life.
Having read and reviewed the experiences from from Tortured for Christ, I have a much more developed conviction for believers who are suffering for the Lord in other countries. I’ve been given a subscription to The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter for free. Here in the Western hemisphere, it’s disgusting how unaware Christians are, that their brothers and sisters across the sea are “dying daily” while some are daily dying.
Wurmbrand encourages readers to take a stand against Communism, by praying for the leaders of these distant persecuting countries to be converted. He insists that Christians who don’t preach against Communism in other countries are almost supporting it. This stance of Wurmbrand’s has stirred me to pray for believers in chains, and get the word out to raise a voice, when moved to against Communistic governments. I would urge all Christians to get Wurmbrand’s book Tortured for Christ, and take a stand and speak out for our brothers and sisters who are silenced.
Click here to watch the online video of Richard Wurmbrand giving his testimony in the 1960s. He was an Evangelical mystic. In the deep solitude of his prison cell, he recounts experiencing visions of God and angels.