Richard Wurmbrand: Founder, The Voice of the Martyrs

BlogIEP Integridade do Evangelho na Pregação: Testemunho: Rev. Richard  Wumbrand

“I tremble because of the sufferings of those persecuted in different lands. I tremble thinking about the eternal destiny of their torturers. I tremble for Western Christians who don’t help their persecuted brethren. In the depth of my heart, I would like to keep the beauty of my own vineyard and not be involved in such a huge fight. I would like so much to be somewhere in quietness and rest. But it is not possible… The quietness and rest for which I long would be an escape from reality and dangerous for my soul… The West sleeps and must be awakened to see the plight of the captive nations.”

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ
Founder, The Voice of the Martyrs


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Our Founders

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand March 24, 1909–February 17, 2001
Sabina (Oster) Wurmbrand July 10, 1913–August 11, 2000

Richard Wurmbrand

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand (1909—2001) was an evangelical minister who endured 14 years of Communist imprisonment and torture in his homeland of Romania. He is widely recognized there as one of the country’s greatest Christian leaders, authors and educators.

In 1945, when the Communists seized Romania and attempted to take control of the churches, Pastor Wurmbrand began an effective, vigorous “underground” ministry to oppressed believers as well as to the Russian soldiers occupying his country. He was arrested in 1948, along with his wife, Sabina, who was imprisoned for three years. Pastor Wurmbrand spent three years in solitary confinement, seeing no one but his Communist torturers. He was then transferred to a group cell, where the torture continued for five more years.

As a Christian leader of international stature, Richard’s imprisonment did not go unnoticed. However, when foreign diplomats asked the Communist Romanian government about him, they were told that he had fled the country. Adding to the confusion, Romanian secret police posing as former prisoners told Sabina they had attended his burial in the prison cemetery. His family and friends were told that he was dead.

Richard Wurmbrand

After more than eight years in prison, Richard Wurmbrand was released, immediately resuming his work with the underground church. A couple of years later, in 1959, he was re-arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Pastor Wurmbrand was released through a general amnesty in 1964, again resuming his underground ministry. A group of Christians in Norway, realizing the probability and danger of a third imprisonment, negotiated his family’s emigration from Romania with the Communist authorities, who had begun “selling” political prisoners. While the average price for a prisoner was about $1,900, the government demanded $10,000 for Pastor Wurmbrand.

Richard Wurmbrand

In May 1966, he testified before the U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, where he stripped to the waist to show 18 scars from torture wounds covering his torso. His story was carried in newspapers throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Pastor Wurmbrand was warned in September 1966 that Romania’s Communist regime planned to assassinate him, but he would not be silenced.

Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand

As co-founders of The Voice of the Martyrs, Pastor Wurmbrand and Sabina traveled throughout the world establishing a network of more than 30 offices that provide relief to families of imprisoned Christians in Islamic nations, Communist nations and other countries where Christians are persecuted because of their faith. Their message has been, “Hate the evil systems, but love your persecutors. Love their souls, and try to win them for Christ.”

Pastor Wurmbrand wrote numerous books, which have been translated into more than 70 languages. He has been labeled at various times by Christian leaders as “The Voice of the Underground Church” and “The Iron Curtain Paul.”

Reference: Voice of The Martyrs: Our Founders

7 thoughts on “Richard Wurmbrand: Founder, The Voice of the Martyrs

  1. Excellent post, Dee. I read Wurmbrand’s book “Tortured for Christ” many years ago. His testimony is a phenomenal witness for the Lord. We have supported and prayed for the ministry of VOM since our college years. It is crucial we pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters. I also like how VOM provides opportunities to write letters to governments who persecute Christians, and to individual Christians being held captive for their faith. Thanks for sharing this. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, Ryan! How are you? I haven’t read the book, but I’ve been wanting to see the movie. I just subscribed to VOM’s magazine and am reading the book “Hearts of Fire”. The suffering is terrible. I didn’t realize there were opportunities to write letters. I’ll look into that. Blessings brother. So good to reconnect. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t been doing so good lately. I’ve been struggling with pain and homesickness. My wife and kids are good though. Today marks 1 year we have been in Florida. Just continuing to trust in God day by day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m so sorry to hear that, Ryan. Are you homesick for CO? Are things not working out in FL? I know it’s really hard to leave a place you’ve been for so long. I’ve been there and it takes a long time to adjust. I’ll definitely be praying for your pain and for God to help you with homesickness. To make things worse, the CO you/we love and miss really doesn’t exist anymore. It’s changed so much I hardly recognize it anymore. Just like the rest of our world, I suppose. Blessings to you, brother. Feel free to PM me if you’d like to chat more.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks, Dee. Yeah, I’m homesick for CO. And you are right, it’s definitely not the same CO I love. That’s part of the homesickness too. It’s sad knowing what has happened to it. There is nothing there for us anymore. The freedom, laws, and conservative values are great down here in Florida and we love that. It’s just been hard to adjust to living in such a different state with the weather and different pace, and the trouble we had at first. I just miss home. Things are starting to work out for us down here now, but it was a hard first year with all the trouble with my wife’s job and everything we went through with that. Then with all my suffering with Celiac, it’s just been really discouraging. My wife has a great new teaching opportunity though and she will be hired soon, so that’s a relief. Thanks for praying for us. God bless.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Unfortunately, I’m way out of the loop on what’s been going on with you guys since I’ve been away for so long. I’m going to scan through your posts and update myself.

              I know this might sound corny, but I’m heartbroken over what is happening to our country at large. In fact, one day when I was in Walmart they were playing the song “America the Beautiful” and I was overcome with emotion. When I was in the military I took an oath to protect this country from all enemies, both foreign and domestic – just as every service member does – and it’s so hard for me now to watch our country being overrun by our own government and every attempt to stop it has been squelched. Even by those who took the same oath I took. It breaks my heart.

              God’s stopwatch is counting down and I’m looking forward more and more to that day when He calls us home.

              Blessings. Talk to you soon.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Thanks. And amen, Dee. It’s not corny at all. I feel the same way. Totally heartbroken over what is happening to our country. It’s very disturbing and sad. We must keep standing firm in the truth. Praying every day for our country, and definitely looking forward to Jesus coming soon. Blessings.

                Liked by 1 person

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