The Voice of the Martyrs founder Richard Wurmbrand wrote about the 14 years he spent in a Communist prison. In his book Tortured for Christ he recalls the night that he and his wife were in attendance at a special congress called by the Communists to discuss Christianity.
At this congress Joseph Stalin was elected as honorary president (Stalin, who was a mass murderer of Christians, was currently “serving” as president of the World Movement of the Godless). The leaders of this congress declared that Communism and Christianity were one in the same and that the church should tolerate Communism and all its evils.
Wurmbrand’s wife, Sabina, told him, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ. They are spitting in his face.”
What would you have done if you were in his situation? Richard knew the penalty for standing up and speaking out against Communism.
“If I do so, you lose your husband,” he told her. His wife’s reply was, “I do not wish to have a coward as a husband.”
Wurmbrand stood up and began to praise Jesus Christ as the only one we should pledge loyalty to. His speech was broadcast throughout all of Romania. Listen to how he summed up what happened next:
“Afterward I had to pay for this, but it was worthwhile.”
Paying for this consisted of 14 years in prison in which he was beaten without mercy, starved, brainwashed, and faced many other horrors.
This is a book that every American Christian should read. Too often we take our freedom for granted. We can preach the whole Bible, share our faith, pray in Jesus’ name, attend a local church, and buy or download a Bible at almost no cost. These are all luxuries that the persecuted church risks their lives for.
We deny our faith just so that people won’t think we are crazy for not watching TV shows that take God’s name in vain. People who won’t stand up for what they believe now would never stand up before a Communist congress.
Are you willing to be tortured for Christ?