Friday, February 29, 2008


It was 60 years ago today (Sunday, February 29, 1948) that Richard Wurmbrand was snatched off of the streets of Bucharest as he was on his way to church.  A small group of secret police, accompanied by the governor, kidnapped him and took him to their headquarters. He was locked in a solitary cell and assigned "Prisoner Number 1."  For the next eight-and-a-half years, he will undergo horrific tortures at the hands of the brutal secret police. He will be told that his wife was imprisoned (which was true) as well as his son (which was not).  The Communists will play recordings of a child (the same age as Richard's son) being beaten in the cell next to his. Hearing the screams of the child, Richard nearly goes mad. The guards torment him, telling him his family would be no more and that he would never see them again.

How would Richard want this date to be remembered, do you suppose?  While I never knew Richard personally, I can imagine exactly what he would want; he would want us to remember those who are being persecuted for their faith. 

A few minutes ago, we learned that Bishop Faraj Raho, the Chaldean bishop of Mosul, was abducted today after he had celebrated the Via Crucis. Reports differ whether two or three men who were with him were also killed. The kidnappers are said to have already made ransom demands. No details were available as of this posting.  Rabban al-Qas, bishop of Arbil, has asked for the prayers of God's people. "It is a terrible moment for our Church. Please, pray for us," he said in an appeal to the world.

Remembering the life and example of Richard Wurmbrand, on this the 60th anniversary of his first arrest by the Communists, let us remember another church leader who is in hostile hands today. 

If you would interested in knowing more about the life of Richard Wurmbrand, we recommend that you start with our newest DVD "Richard Wurmbrand, The Voice of the Martyrs" and with the pastor's book, "In God's Underground", both of which can be ordered online.

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