Tortured for Christ was written by Richard Wurmbrand. Pastor Wurmbrand lived in Communist Romania in the 1940's-60's. He was in prison for a total of fourteen years. He was not only stuck in prison, but tortured beyond belief. Through all his torture, imprisonment, separation from his wife and son...he was a faithful witness of his Savior.
Even in prison when he knew that he would be beat severely, nearly to death, if he preached to fellow inmates - he did it. Even when he was released from prison, but warned not to preach lest he get himself back in - he did it. Even when he was threatened with death if he preached - he did it. He never gave in. He never denied his Lord. He never regretted proclaiming His Name.
That's faith. That's dedication. That's love.
In his book, Pastor Wurmbrand tells of his time in prison and outside of prison. He tells of some of the tortures he and other believers endured in the name of Christ. He communicates to us the love that he and the other believers had for Christ, their brothers and sisters, and for their enemies - their torturers and murderers, the Communists. These believers had a love for Christ that soared far beyond their love for family and friends, a love that soared above their love for comfort, their desire for peace - they loved Christ more than life.
Many times in his book, Wurmbrand tells of one person or another answering the question of "why do you do what you do?" with a simple and sweet phrase like: Christ died for me, it's the least I can do to be tortured for Him. That's love.
I read this book in three days - you simply can't put it down! It drags you in and chains you to itself. In fact, the night I started to read it, my dad noticed my eyes were bloodshot - guess I forgot to blink.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.
"But those Nazi times had one great advantage. They taught us that physical beatings could be endured, and that the human spirit with God's help can survive horrible tortures."
"We should never stop at having won a soul for Christ. By this, we have done only half the work. Every soul won for Christ must be made to be a soul -winner...They [Russian believers] were reckless and daring for Christ, always saying that it was the least they could do for Christ who died for them."
"For them [Communists] nothing besides matter exists and to them a man is like wood, like an eggshell. With this belief they sink to unthinkable depths of cruelty."
"If the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ, and if the heart loves Him, one can resist all tortures."
"It was a deal: we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching; they were happy beating us - so everyone was happy."
"Love conquered even the natural thirst for life."
"It was in being tortured by them [Communists] that we learned to love them."
"A man really believes not what he recites in his creed, but only the things he is ready to die for."
"The Underground Church denounces it [Communism], risking liberty and life. The less have we to be silent in the West."
"I have found truly joyful Christians only in the Bible, in the Underground Church, and in prison."
"What compelled them [underground believers] was the love of God. They knew that they risked their liberty, and that in prison starvation and torture awaited them."
Yeah, that might have been a lot...but believe me, if I really wanted to I would quote the entire book.
Over all, this book receives six stars. Aw, we only go to five? Fine. Five.
I definitely recommend this book to everyone, especially believers who have never heard of the persecution of our brethren in other lands.
In Christ alone,
NOTE: Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was the founder of Voice of the Martyrs. Please visit their website - it's wonderful what they are doing!