Many of you will have heard of the Revd Richard Wurmbrand (1909-2001), imprisoned and tortured by the Communists for 14 years from the late 1940s through the early 1960s.

He was born in Bucharest and raised in the Jewish faith.  Wikipedia says:

As an adolescent, he was sent to study Marxism in Moscow, but returned clandestinely the following year. Pursued by Siguranţa Statului (the secret police), he was arrested and held in Doftana prison. When returning to his mother country, Wurmbrand was already an important Comintern agent, leader and coordinator directly paid from Moscow. Like other Romanian communists he was arrested several times, then sentenced and released again.

He married Sabina Oster in 1936.  Two years later, the couple became acquainted with a Romanian carpenter who was a Christian.  Because of his witness, they converted and became active in the Anglican Mission to the Jews.  Wurmbrand was later ordained as an Anglican priest then, after the Second World War, as a Lutheran pastor.  He evangelised among Romanian civilians and military.

He took his ministry underground, then

He was arrested on February 29, 1948, while on his way to church services.

Wurmbrand, who passed through the penal facilities of Craiova, Gherla, the Danube-Black Sea Canal, Văcăreşti, Malmaison, Cluj, and ultimately Jilava, spent three years in solitary confinement. This confinement was in a cell twelve feet underground, with no lights or windows. There was no sound because even the guards wore felt on the soles of their shoes. He later recounted that he maintained his sanity by sleeping during the day, staying awake at night, and exercising his mind and soul by composing and then delivering a sermon each night. Due to his extraordinary memory, he was able to recall more than 350 of those, a selection of which he included in his book “With God in Solitary Confinement,” which was first published in 1969. During part of this time, he communicated with other inmates by tapping out Morse code on the wall. In this way he continued to “be sunlight” to fellow inmates rather than dwell on the lack of physical light ...

Pastor Wurmbrand was released from his first imprisonment in 1956, after eight and a half years. Although he was warned not to preach, he resumed his work in the underground church. He was arrested again in 1959 and sentenced to 25 years. During his imprisonment, he was beaten and tortured. Psychological torture included incessant broadcasting of phrases denouncing Christianity and praising Communism. His body bore the scars of physical torture for the rest of his life. For example, he later recounted having the soles of his feet beaten until the flesh was torn off, then the next day beaten again to the bone. This prolific writer said there were not words to describe that pain.[5] However, Wurmbrand considered worse than torture the coerced denunciations of parents by their own children.

Meanwhile, his wife Sabina had been deliberately misinformed about his imprisonment, having  been told that he was dead:

During his second imprisonment, his wife Sabina was given official news of Richard’s death, which she did not believe.[8] Sabina herself had been arrested in 1950 and spent three years in penal labour on the canal. Sabina’s autobiographical account of this time is titled “The Pastor’s Wife.” Their only son, Mihai, by then a young adult, was expelled from college-level studies at three institutions because his father was a political prisoner; an attempt to obtain permission to emigrate to Norway to avoid compulsory service in the Communist army was unsuccessful.[9]

Another biography of Wurmbrand states:

Pastor Wurmbrand was released in a general amnesty in 1964. Realizing the great danger of a third imprisonment, Christians in Norway negotiated with the Communist authorities for his release from Romania.  The “going price” for a prisoner was $1,900.  Their price for Wurmbrand was $10,000.    In May 1966, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand testified in Washington before the Senate’s Internal Security Subcommittee and stripped to the waist and showed 18 deep torture wounds covering his body.  His story was carried across the world newspapers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Around the same time, he founded The Voice of the Martyrs, which highlights the persecution of Christians around the world and gives the persecuted encouragement as well as practical help.

Pastor Wurmbrand died in California at the age of 92, preceded by Sabina, who had gone to her rest six months earlier.

Some of you might have one of his many books in your home.  If you are looking for a free volume online, you can read his 88-page work from 1993, Marx and Satan.

Marx and Satan is a shocking account of the darkness which pervades Marxism and Communism.  It is an important addendum to my recent posts on a utopian one-world ‘new order’.  I’ll excerpt it in more detail soon.  However, for now, below are a few thoughts of Pastor Wurmbrand’s as contained in the appendix to the volume wherein he asks, ‘Can Communism be Christian?’

The following comes from pages 80 – 88 of the Scribd document.  This is important reading, particularly for your children or younger family members (emphases mine below):

Ernesto Cardenal is a Catholic priest who is a self-avowed Communist and was active in the Communist government of Nicaragua. He is also one of the most prominent exponents of so-called liberation theology, which exists within both Catholicism and Protestantism and seeks to blend Christianity with communism.

Here are a few excerpts from his book The Zero Hour:

A world of perfect Communism is the kingdom of God on earth. They are the same thing for me…. Through the Gospel I have arrived at revolution; not through Karl Marx, but through Christ. The Gospel caused me to become a Marxist…. I have the calling of a poet and prophet…

Marxism is the fruit of Christianity; without Christianity, Marxism would be impossible; Marx would be unthinkable without the prophets of the Old Testament. Changing the system of production, we can create the new man of the Gospel

I believe that the Communists, too, belong to the church. I believe the true church includes many who don’t perceive themselves as Christians, even those who consider themselves atheists. Many of these belong more to the church than some who sit in the Roman Curia.

For me the God of the Bible is also the God of Marxism-Leninism…. The apostle John says, “No one has seen God.” What the atheist Marxists say is very much akin to what Saint John says: “No one has seen God” …

Liberation theology is not an isolated phenomenon.  It is the by-product of a general tendency to synthesize Marxism and Christianity; it is also seen in various forms of compromise in politics, art, economics, and so on …

I can understand men like the priest Cardenal. There is a ring of truth in the feeling he expresses of solidarity with the Communists, who appear to him as champions of the cause of the poor – always near to the heart of Christians …

The theology of liberation … is widely urged in the Third World. Its theoreticians can call themselves Christian only because of the chaos in thinking prevalent in the church at this moment

Liberation theologians proclaim an earthly paradise. Communism is this paradise, capitalism its foe. The church no longer waits for the coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven. The triumph of communism will be equated with His coming. This explains why in Communist countries the God-hating Communist government has paid the clergy.

It needs to be said that among both Catholics and Orthodox, there are also bishops who fear absorption into earthly pursuits and seek rather a deeper spiritual life. Not all have bowed to Baal.

As for Protestants, in hearings before the U.S.A. House Committee on Un-American Activities on February 26, 1966, Richard Arens, general counsel to the Committee, declared:

Thus far, in the leadership of the National Council of Churches, we have found over 100 persons in leadership capacity with either Communist-front records or records of services in Communist causes. The aggregate affiliations of the leadership is in the thousands.

And the World Council of Churches for years has subsidized Communist guerrillas in Africa.

The Catholic Gustavo Gutierrez wrote in The Theology of Liberation: “The church must place itself squarely within the process of revolution.” The Lutheran theologian Dorothee Sölle, founder of Christians for Socialism, wrote: “We are at the beginning of a new chapter in Christian history. It will not be written without Karl Marx.”

These are the facts, open and uncontested, about what is happening in the church universal.

We did not heed the warning of the Lord to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. If the clothing speaks to us about doing good to mankind, we get hooked, forgetting that the worst of men can speak beautiful things …

The Devil disguises himself as an angel of light. When the Communists came to power, unprecedented slaughters followed, which eclipse even Hitler’s Holocaust.

Clergymen who had been on the side of communism also became its victims. If communism would conquer the countries of the Third World, the theologians of liberation would sit in jail together with those who opposed this ideology.

Cardenal says, “Communism and the kingdom of God are the same thing for me.”

The word “communism” in itself is vague. It is taken to mean only an economic system in which everyone will work according to his abilities and will receive according to his needs. There will be no state, no division of the world into countries, and no social classes, because the means of production will belong to all mankind …

The kingdom of God will not be a stateless society. The people of the saints of the Most High will have dominion over it (Daniel 7:27).

It is not a kingdom brought about by a political party, but by Jesus, the Son of man (Matthew 16:28)

The kingdom of God will be one of righteousness, peace, love, joy, and the right to possess one’s own mansion and garden (John 14:2).

Perfect communism, described as economic liberation, freedom, peace, and justice, could be attained only through the practice of such policies in the society it hopes to benefit.

But in actual experience Communists have jailed, tortured, and terrorized hundreds of millions of people for almost seventy years. How could such practice result in a just, mild, and loving society?

Christian communism is a utopian impossibility, a nightmare of exploitation. The theology of revolution is a patent absurdity, a contradiction in terms.

What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believes with an infidel? (2 Corinthians 6:14, 15).

“You cannot serve God and mammon,” said Jesus. Choose you this day whom you will serve.