Tortured for Christ
Is Nothing New It is the story of “Persecuted Believers” all over the World
June 1, 2018 | View PDF
A few weeks ago, Wycliffe Associates held their annual banquet in Montgomery with the Southeast Director, Noel Davis, updating us on the Voice of the Martyrs' current activities.
In the middle 1960's, we received a book from Wycliffe about Richard Wurmbrand's experiences in a Romanian Communist prison over a 14 year period, that included two long periods of seven to eight years each.
Wurmbrand had written his story of the imprisonment and revealed the true story of Communism and their determination to capture the world with their atheism. We ordered the book, Tortured for Christ and could never forget his story. For a short time, Wurmbrand came to the West and warned us about Communism. However, his passion for the persecuted believers led him right back into the dangerous area, and again to prison.
Richard Wurmbrand began his ministry with the Norwegian Lutheran Mission, that served an underground mission work. He ministered in secret to the Russian soldiers, and later to the enslaved peoples of Romania. He said that he had never seen a people with such "thirsty souls" as the Russian people. Only Jesus Christ could answer their need.
The underground church worked partly in the open, preaching in the streets. On a Sunday in January of 1948, he was kidnapped and taken to prison, where he remained 8 years. His wife did not know if he were alive or dead. He was tortured with the intent of forcing him to betray his brethren, which of course, he would not.
Those who tortured him would often use quotations from Lenin to justify the torture: "You cannot make omelets without breaking the shell of eggs." Wurmbrand spoke of seeing Christians tied to a cross and being left there for four days and nights.
Reading the new edition of the book and learning more about the self-sacrifices of Christian believers, gives us the true picture of the underground church, where persecution never ceases.
Now that the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Wurmbrand story, Tortured for Christ, is available from Wycliffe Associates, numerous books by Richard Wurmbrand are available, in addition to the Tortured For Christ updated 50th edition.
How widespread is the greatly persecuted underground church around the world?
And who is reaching out to these believers? The number one ministry in the entire world dealing with this tragedy, is Wycliffe Associates in their Bible translations worldwide.
Wycliffe's Voice of the Martyrs emphasizes Prayer being the number one need in this work around the world. They have a Global Prayer Guide which has blessed and guided me greatly. It is easily available for our readers to order. This guide highlights the restricted nations and hostile areas, Christians face dreadful persecution because of any Christian witness. Voice of the Martyrs serves these believers in 68 countries of the world...Let's look at a few of these.
The country is ravaged by drought, conflict, and the destructive presence of radical groups. Their economy relies on foreign aid and the opium trade. Conflict between the government and the Taliban, and the continual Isis threat, never ends.
The religion is 99.8 percent Muslim.
The persecution of Christians is not limited to local and national governments, it comes from their families, friends, and communities. Christians have to be secretive, if they wish to live.
Algeria is another restricted nation, whose religion is largely majority Sunni Islam.
The government persecutes those who leave Islam. Muslims persecute their own family members who become Christians.
There is a growing church in Algeria among the Berber people. These believers are boldly sharing the Gospel among the al-Qaida camps in the country. Secret communities of Arab Christians exist throughout the country also.
Some Bibles are printed in the country, but often Bibles are taken away and churches restricted. Voice of the Martyrs supports safe houses for believers, and Bible distribution.
North Korea: Restricted
North Korea is considered the worst persecutor of Christians.
The North Korean government depends on "Juche", the North Korean ideology, that demands subservience to the Kim family to maintain stability, and Christianity is considered to be subversive. Christians are considered to be enemies of the State of North Korea.
Religious Freedom is non-existent in North Korea, and the government claims all North Koreans follow the Juche ideology.
Christians face cruel persecution in North Korea, and members of the community fear being accused of befriending them. There are prison camps for Christians where they are starved, overworked, and tortured. It is dangerous to own a Bible in North Korea. Christians try to memorize scripture passages. Voice of the Martyrs sends in Bibles by balloons sometimes, and reaches out over a special radio network.
The greatest advance for the scriptures today is Wycliffe's use of the MAST method of progress toward Bible translation.
Mobilizing Assistance Supporting Translation (MAST) strategy. This new method has enabled Wycliffe to accomplish amazing results in new translations. Thirty three translation projects have been completed already in the first 59 days of 2018. In just over three years, 1,142 Bible translation projects were completed using this MAST strategy. These workshops equip local people to be involved with the translation, and they have the technology to do it on the spot with great speed and accuracy.
They even have the ability to print out the Bible where they are. Simply
amazing. That is Wycliffe Associates. Investigate this further on the web.
Voice of the Martyrs
1615 South Bison Road
Bartlesville, OK 74006- 9901
815- 922 6231
This column is possible by the assistance of Wycliife staff publications.