It’s the kind of book you’ll never forget.
An atheist Jew, Richard Wurmbrand was converted to Christianity, as was his wife, Sabine. The story of his conversion alone would make this book worthwhile, but there are so many worthy reasons to read Wurmbrand’s book – the story of the underground, persecuted Christians.
Wurmbrand suffered 14 years in communist prisons enduring tortures unspeakable, for the crime of sharing his Christian faith. The story of courage and endurance in the face of such trials is truly remarkable.
In newly communist Romania, a congress of all Christian bodies was held, convened by the communits, with Joseph Stalin as honourary president. Four thousand priests and pastors of all denominations stood, one after the other, and declared that Christianity and communism are fundamentally the same, and pledged the loyalty of the church to the new government. Wurmbrand describes his reaction:
My wife and I were present at this congress. My wife sat near me and told me, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ! They are spitting into His face.” I said to my wife, “If I do so, you loose your husband.” She said,”I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband.”
Then I arose and spoke to this congress, praising not the murderers of Christians, but Christ and God and said that our loyalty is due first to Him. The speeches at this congress were broadcast and the whole country could hear proclaimed from the rostrum of the Communist Parliament the message of Christ! Afterward I had to pay for this, but it had been worthwhile.
I am not normally a person who willingly reads accounts of abuse of any sort, and even though Richard Wurmbrand does not divulge every detail of his treatment at the hands of his torturers, stating that much of it is too unspeakable, and too painful to recount, still the descriptions of the depravity of his torturers was challenging to read. However, there were also many, many, accounts of the glorious triumphs of the believer over affliction.
The book has many stories of remarkable conversions of Russian soldiers, and to hear with what little resources and knowledge some of them were lead to love Christ is humbling indeed. Many of these stories I was able to read aloud to my children, although I would not want them to read the entire book. For adults, I cannot recommend highly enough this little book, to gain an understanding of the sufferings of our Christain brothers and sisters in communist countries, and of to hear of the remarkable, sustaining love of God in these faith inspiring testemonies.
A biography of Richard Wurmbrand is available on a website authored by his granddaughter, which also contains some excellent articles written by Richard and his wife, Sabine.
He was a remarkable man, who served a God worth dying for.