This Sunday, November 5th, marks the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Joining Jim to discuss this important day was Todd Nettleton. Todd is the Chief of Media Relations and Message Integration with Voice of the Martyrs.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Voice of the Martyrs. Founder Richard Wurmbrand was a converted Jew who became a Lutheran pastor in communist Romania. He was an outspoken witness for Jesus, even as the communists took over the nation. He was punished for that, having spent a total of 14 years in prison, 3 of which were in solitary confinement, 30 feet below ground level. His wife spent 3 years in prison, 18 months of that in a labor camp helping build the Danube Canal.
Richard and his wife were ransomed out of Romania after release from prison. Before they left, the secret police took Richard aside and told him that he was going to the West. He could preach all he wanted to, talk about God all he wanted to, but they said not to talk about what they did to him.
Richard did come to the West but he did just the opposite of what they told him to. He began to share the stories of prison, the torture, and the stories of pastors still in those prisons. American Christians would hear those stories and want to help those people and that’s how Voice of the Martyrs got started. It’s a bridge for American Christians who want to bring encouragement and hope to those who are being persecuted and to bring out the stories of what God is doing in those nations.
Every year to commemorate the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Voice of the Martyrs does a short film for churches to show in their services that illustrates who the ministry is praying for. Since it’s the 50th anniversary of VOM, they chose a story from Richard’s own time in prison. This helps people remember to pray for the persecutors which is part of Christ’s call as well.
When you review this edition of Crosstalk, you’ll hear Todd share amazing testimonies of individuals in North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Turkey, along with calls from numerous Crosstalk listeners.
To see the resources for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, including the church video discussed on this program, go to: www.persecution.com/idop