[ABOVE—Richard Wurmbrand, courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs, against CIA Factbook image of Romania.]
Rumania’s Communists threw Richard Wurmbrand into prison in retaliation for his refusal to endorse them. Christ is Lord, and no government set up on principles utterly contrary to Christ’s word can be acceptable to the true Christian.
In prison, Wurmbrand was repeatedly tortured. To get at him mentally, the Communists also imprisoned and tortured his wife and persecuted his son.
Born in Romania, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand became Christians. They shared the Gospel, although it was prohibited. In 1945, Richard publicly proclaimed Christ while speaking out against communism. This bold move led to the Wurmbrand’s imprisonment by the communists. Richard and Sabina endured unthinkable horror, but their witness was only strengthened.
After eight years, Wurmbrand was released. He was soon returned to prison for another three years until churches in the west ransomed him.
In the United States, Wurmbrand testified before the Senate and showed his scars. This testimony gave him the exposure he needed to found an organization, now known as the Voice of the Martyrs, which assists the persecuted church throughout the world.
Wurmbrand’s most famous writing was Tortured for Christ, a book which has sold millions of copies, been translated into numerous languages, and encouraged people worldwide to stand under torture. Here is a short excerpt.
Excerpt from Richard Wurmbrand’s Tortured for Christ.
It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy.
The following scene happened more times than I can remember: A brother was preaching to the other prisoners when the guards suddenly burst in, surprising him halfway through a phrase. They hauled him down the corridor to their “beating room.” After what seemed like an endless beating, they brought him back and threw him—bloody and bruised—on the prison floor. Slowly he picked his battered body up, painfully straightened his clothing and said, “Now, brethren, where did I leave off when I was interrupted?” He continued his gospel message.
I have seen beautiful things!