Once halted by the fall of the Iron Curtain, persecution of Christians is returning to Russia and the former Soviet Union. In the last 12-month reporting period, 159 cases of persecution have been documented in Russia alone. However, the voice of a Christian formerly imprisoned by Communism, the Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, is also returning to guide and challenge the church around the world how to respond.
This week, Voice of the Martyrs Korea released the Korean translation of the new book, Wurmbrand: Tortured for Christ, The Complete Story. Rev. Wurmbrand was imprisoned in Communist Romania for 14 years beginning in 1948 because he refused to deny his faith. During this time, his wife, Sabina, was also imprisoned for three years. Their son, Mihai, was cared for by a family friend who was later arrested as well.
『Wurmbrand: Tortured for Christ, The Complete Story』
“Pastor Wurmbrand was finally released in 1964 and ransomed out of the country for $10,000,” Voice of the Martyrs representative Foley Hyun Sook explained. “At the time, this was an expensive ransom. The average ransom for a political prisoner during that time was $1,900.”
According to Representative Foley, the police spoke with Pastor Wurmbrand before he left the country.
“The police said, ‘When you leave the country, you can preach but don’t talk about what is going on inside Romania. We can spread lies about you. We can have you killed.’ But when Pastor Wurmbrand arrived in the West, he told the whole world about his experience (and the experience of other persecuted Christians) inside Communist Romania,” Representative Foley says.
Pastor Wurmbrand spoke at churches around the world and raised up more than a dozen independent Voice of the Martyrs offices around the world. According to Representative Foley, Pastor Wurmbrand also helped raise worldwide financial support for scripture balloon launches and radio broadcasts into North Korea beginning in 1969 and continuing to the present. He wrote several books about his experiences in Romania, the most well-known of these being Tortured for Christ.
Representative Foley explains that the new book, Wurmbrand: Tortured For Christ, The Complete Story, represents the first complete life story of Rev. Wurmbrand ever assembled, combining several of the books authored by Rev. Wurmbrand and even one written by his wife, Sabina.
“This is the first time you can read Pastor Wurmbrand’s entire story in one book,” Foley says. “Previously, to get the full story, you had to read Tortured For Christ, which was the first book that Pastor Wurmbrand wrote after leaving prison. Later on, he wrote another book called In God’s Underground, which was a more complete picture of his martyrdom and filled in the details that the first book didn’t mention. Then, you had to read The Pastor’s Wife, which is Sabina’s side of the story. But Wurmbrand: Tortured for Christ, The Complete Story combines all three books into one coherent and remarkable story. The return of persecution to Russia and the former Soviet Union, as well as the persecution facing believers in China, North Korea, and more than 70 countries around the world shows that it is a story that is as timely today as when it was first written. Our hope is that the book challenges Korean Christians to carry out the command of Hebrews 13:3 today: ‘Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.’”
Individuals interested in purchasing the book can call VOM at 02-2065-0703 or go to