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Martyrs

Throughout the ages there have been many people who have had their lives taken from them short of their time because they refuse to proclaim that they do not love Jesus Christ. These many brave men, women, and even children have suffered great deals to let the world know of Christs great love and many are still in prisons today waiting their turn to die for the same cause. Encarta defines the word Martyr as: 1. somebody who chooses to die rather than deny a strongly held belief, especially a religious belief 2. somebody who makes sacrifices or suffers greatly in order to advance a cause or principle. Jesus Freaks: Martyrs tells people the true stories of hundreds of Christian martyrs from the times of Jesus until recent years in the countries that still dont accept Christianity and refuse to allow people to practice free religion. Throughout Jesus Freaks: Martyrs true stories of people who believe in Christianity enough to give their lives and change others lives with their stories are finally told worldwide. One person referenced throughout the book is Richard Wurmbrand. In 1945, in Romania, Richard and his wife were in a Parliament building where priests and pastors of Romania stood and offered words of praise for Communism to declare their loyalty and to prevent being tortured. Finally, when Sabina, Richards wife, could stand it no longer she said to him, Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ. If I speak, you will lose your husband. was his reply. To this Sabina also had a simple reply that would change their lives along with many others, I do not wish to have a coward for a husband. Pastor Wurmbrand took the

stage at this time and to everyones surprise he began to preach. Immediately, a great silence fell on the hall. When one of the Communist officials realized this was being broadcasted to the entire country he withdrew the pastors right to speak, yet was ignored. Even after the microphone wires were severed the hall chanted for The Pastor. This marked Richard Wurmbrand as an enemy of the state and he was imprisoned on Sunday, February 29, 1948. For years he was imprisoned thirty feet below the earth in solitary confinement; the prison was kept completely silent and the guards even wore cloth shoes to keep from making noise. Richard states that he saw Jesus face many times during his imprisonment and this inspired him to keep his faith and to go on living even though the pain was excruciating and the duration seemed like eternity. After the solitary, the prisoners were put into cells with 200-300 other Christians and tortured together. Then they endured days with 17 hours of brainwashing and finally, beaten again. Released in 1956 he resumed his work with the underground church only to be imprisoned again in 1959. Sentenced to 25 years for this second conviction death seemed inevitable. With the popularity of Richards preaching the entire world knew his story and when, in 1959, he was imprisoned again plans to rescue him went into action. Receiving amnesty in 1964, the Norwegian Mission to the Jews and the Hebrew Christian Alliance negotiated with communist authorities and paid the 10 thousand dollars to have him released from Romania so that he could no longer be persecuted. Since then, Richard and Sabina have traveled the earth telling their stories and the stories of their savior to everyone that can, and will, listen. Together they began the Voice of the Martyrs a religious group that informs people around the world of Christian martyrs

and encourages everyone to write the person as well as their government so that all martyrs have a chance to do what Richard himself did, bring a new life from what should have been death. Passing away February 17, 2001 Richard truly lived a Martyrs life. If anything can be learned from the story of Richard Wurmbrand it is that through Christ you can do all things and to never give up on anything you believe in because as long you persevere your riches will be abundant.