Friday, December 5, 2014

A Voice of the Martyrs Classic

I remember receiving a free copy of the Tortured for Christ when I was in high school. It was a promotion from Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) to raise awareness about their founder and the plight of the Church (big “C”) in countries that are hostile to the gospel. They still run the same promotion today, so anyone even marginally interested can pick up a copy without losing a dime.

The book has been reprinted numerous times, with modern reprints using a foreword from the latest VOM president. In addition to having a new foreword, this is the first time I’ve heard of an audio version being made available. The audiobook is not available for free, and I don’t know if VOM plans to offer it free in the future or not.

The book tells the personal testimony of how Richard Wurmbrand became a Christian in Romania, suffered for his faith during the Nazi occupation in WWII, and then endured prison and tortures from the Communists during and after Soviet Occupation of the country. Once he gets to his immigration to the West, he transitions to the second half of his book and writes about Communism, the persecuted church, and the West’s lack of support of its persecuted brothers in other countries. It is challenging, but in a world where Communism is no longer a strong player, it feels a little dated and tended to drag for me.

The audiobook is somewhat unique because the narrator, who is not named, speaks with a slight Eastern European accent, presumably Romanian. The accent is understandable for the most part, although I did have difficulty understanding once or twice when the narrator was reading Romanian or Russian names. Still, it gives the audiobook a feeling of authenticity, as though the narrator is Richard Wurmbrand himself.

Ultimately, VOM publishes the book to help bring in support for its ministry, and for that I commend them. Whether you opt to request a free print copy, buy the audiobook, or just donate to the ministry itself, you won’t feel like you’re wasting your money.

I received this audiobook from christianaudio for the purpose of providing this review.

NOTE: What probably prompted a new edition was the suicide in 2012 of the previous President, Tom White, who took his own life after police identified him as the suspect in a case of child molestation. White had written the foreword to the previous edition and Voice of the Martyrs was wise to distance itself from him. The ministry does solidly good support work for persecuted Christians and their reputation should not be tarnished because of White’s sin, which was not linked to the ministry in any way.

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