Tortured for his faith
Written by Kit Densley on November 25, 2020
Voice of the Martyrs serves persecuted Christians with practical and spiritual assistance and leads Christians in the free world into fellowship with persecuted believers. The Australian office of Voice of the Martyrs is currently screening the feature film Tortured for Christ online, writes Gabriel Garcia.
The story of Pastor Wurmbrand is one worthy of depicting on the screen. As a Christian living in Communist Romania his refusal to denounce his faith led to 14 years of imprisonment by the brutal Communist regime.
Tortured for Christ, based on his memoirs of the same name, recreates his story and highlights the often forgotten plight of those under the Eastern European Communist Regimes.
A pastor of Jewish descent, Wurmbrand was arrested by secret police for denouncing attempts by the Communist Regime to control the various Churches of Romania. Repeatedly thrown in prison and tortured Wurmbrand managed to keep his faith. His wife was also thrown into a hard labour camp.
After 14 years Wurmbrand was released and then ransomed out of Romania by the Norwegian Mission to the Jews and the Hebrew Christian Alliance. He then spent the rest of his life bringing awareness to the persecution of Christians, a plight often ignored to this day, and founded the organisation Voice of the Martyrs.
Shot on location in Romania and using Romanian actors gives Tortured for Christ a sense of authenticity that many other historical films don’t quite achieve. So intent was the director’s desire to be as accurate as possible that part of the film was shot in the same prison used to keep Wurmbrand.
Tortured for Christ is a powerful story of one Christian’s fight to keep his faith under a totalitarian regime that echoes today. In 2019, a report ordered by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt reported that persecution of Christians was reaching genocidal levels.
Though Romania is no longer Communist and Christians can worship freely, it is clear that Wurmbrand’s plight is still as relevant today as it was in Communist Romania.
About the Author: Gabriel is a writer with a background in International Studies, History and Media.