Today, we are going to talk about a man named Richard Wurmbrand who stood up for God against Communists. Richard had a wife named Sabina and a son named Mihai who were with him in the fight. This story takes place in a country called Romania, which was being overthrown by communists. These communists we’re trying to make themselves the government to be able to control the people. They would tell them what they had to do and how to do it or else!
When Richard and his wife were leaving their house one day, they went to a church where the communists were telling people that God doesn’t exist and that they could not worship God. They wanted support from the people and pastors on this idea. Some of the people that Richard knew were there, but they said nothing.
However, even though Richard had a family to think about, he loved Jesus so much that he was not going to stand by and let this happen. Therefore, he walked up to the pulpit to take a stand for Christ and said in a loud voice,
“…How can we respect a government that denies the existence of God, denies us the reading of the Bible and shuts down the places in which we meet to worship? …Shame on the cowardice that does not stand and defend our God! Such a government deserves not our support…”
He went on to say that, “It is for God that this church was built, it is for God!”
After this happened, the communists started spying on Richard and his home! In fact, one day while Richard was walking to church, he noticed a car following him and the people inside the car were watching him. When this happened he tried to run away, but the men in the car caught him and kidnapped him. When they threw him in the car, Richard asked, “Where are you taking me?” They hit him with a gun, he blacked out and they imprisoned him.
When he got to the prison, they put him in a cell. During this time, Richard was horribly tortured for simply taking a stand for Christ. Also, during this time, his wife was captured and forced to help build a canal for the communists. Mihai, Richard’s son, was given the red scarf of a communist student and told to wear it. However, when the teacher gave it to him, he threw it to the ground and said, “No! I will not wear your red scarf! The communists put my parents in prison because they believe in God! I am proud to be a Christian and I am proud of my parents!” When the teacher heard this, she kicked him out of school.
Mihai ended up alone and homeless for 3 years from the age of 9-12 while his parents were in the hands of the communists.
Sabina was told by the Romanian authorities that Richard had died in prison, but he never did. When Sabina was released, she was finally reunited with her son. However, both Sabina and Mihai were living without their husband and father during this time.
After 8 ½ years in prison, Richard was released and came home.
I can only imagine how happy his wife and son were! Richard was told not to preach again, but as a faithful servant of God, he kept preaching and did not deny his God. As a result, he went back to prison for 5 years and was eventually released once again after increased political pressure from western countries came upon the communists to let him go.
Richard Wurmbrand spent a total of nearly 13 years being tortured in prison because he stood for Christ.
Sometime after being freed, Richard started the Voice of the Martyrs ministry.
Richard was a great example of a courageous and faithful man of God who took a stand for Christ! How the world would be different if we had more men like him!