A text by Richard Wurmbrand

Dear brothers and sisters,

I will tell you an episode from prison life in Communist Romania. A Christian pastor had been arrested. The Communists wanted him to deny his faith in Christ and to betray the secrets of the Underground Church.

In many counties today, much of the work of the church is underground. Believers have to gather in secret, hold Sunday schools in secret, and print gospels and distribute them in secret. The governments and others who persecute Christians wish to know where all this is done. As it is today so it was in years past in the Communist bloc in Eastern Europe.

This brother had been very much tortured and weakened, but he was steadfast and did not betray the secrets of the Underground Church. Then one day the police officer, who was investigating him, called him again from his prison cell. This time the captain was extremely polite and nice when he invited our brother to sit comfortably in a chair. He told him, You have nothing to fear. Nobody will even touch you with a finger. I wish to discuss your beliefs with you. I have heard that you Christians believe that God appeared once on Mount Sinai and thet He gave you Ten Commandments. Would you please tell me what these commandments are? I am very courious.

The Christian was very happy to recite to the Communist officer the Ten Commandments. He began: I am your God. There is no other God besides me. You should not bow before graven images. You should not take the name of the Lord you God in vain. You should remember the Sabbath day. Then he came to this commandment, You should honor your father and your mother.

Now, when our brother had entered the room with the police officer, he had seen in a corner a big heap of rags. Something moved in this heap. He had wondered what it was. Now the Communist captain, who had asked him to recite the Ten Commandments, so probably God must have chosen the most important commandments. He said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ so this commandment must be very important.

The captain told him to look in the corner. The pastor saw his own mother emerge from the heap of rags. His mother was in chains. When he looked at her, he was frightened.

She was now only skin and bones. There were dark circles around her eyes and bruises on her face where she had been beaten. Youcould see that

she passed through tortures. The captain told the Christian, Look at your mother and see how much she has suffered. God has said, ‘Honor your mother.’ I promise you that if you deny your faith in Christ, if you tell us the secrets of the Underground Church,

tonight you will be free and your mother will be free. You will be able to care for your old mother and you will be pleasing to God.

God knows everything. When He gave the Ten Commandments, He did not say, ‘Do not betray, do not tell the secrets of the church!’ He said, ‘Honor your mother,’ so probably to honor your mother is more important than to be faithful to your church. If you tell us everything, you will be free tonight together with your mother. If she dies under torture from our hands, God will reject you because God told you to honor your mother.

What would you have chosen? You can learn all the theology and all that is in the Bible and not know what to do in such a situation.

Our brother turned to his mother and asked her, Dear mother, what should I do? The mother in chains replied, from the time you were a small boy, I have taught you to love God, to love Christ, and to love His church. I am ready to die for the holy Name.

Then the brother turned and told the captain, You were very right, Captain. First of all, a man must obey his mother. You have heard what my mother has said. My mother has said that I should remain faithful to Christ, to God, and to His church. I will tell you nothing.

The mother died in chains under torture, but she had this joy of knowing that her son honored God and honored her.

There are millions upon millions of men who do not give God honor. He is the Creator. Every day He gives sun, moon, stars, and rain, yet millions of men do not give him honor. Many of the godless governments of this world forbid the Christian religion and persecute those who practice Christianity. They teach little children to hate the name of God and the name of Christ. What pain this must be for God.

But the Spirit of God is more powerful than all this atheistic agitation. The light can shine in the darkness. In North Korea, in China, in other Communist countries and throughout the Islamic world, men and women come to Christ. We thank you that with your prayers and your gifts you help our Voice of the Martyrs workers carry the message of our powerful God to the most difficult places.

Richard Wurmbrand