The soviet sai nts

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Richard Wurmbrand


By the same author





Copyright © 1968 by Richard Wurmbrand
First printed 1968
SBN 340 04385 7

Translations of articles in the Soviet Press, made by the

Library of Congress, are quoted here by permission of

the Congress of the United States.

To my children Mikai and Judith and to all those who
are working in the service of the Soviet Saints.

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall
not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired
out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior
consent in any form of binding or cover other than that
in which this is published and without a similar condition
including this condition being imposed on the subsequent

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, record-
ing, or any information storage and retrieval system,
without permission in writing from the publisher.

Printed in Great Britain for Hodder and Stoughton Limited,

St. Paul's House, Warwick Lane, London, E.C.4

by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press), Ltd.,

Bungay, Suffolk




Wearing the Dunce's Cap &

Observations 10


1 Whose Fate is the Director's Concern? 44


  1. A Sect of Fanatics Was Exposed 50

  2. The Shyness of Power 51

  3. Under the Domination of Obscurity 55

  4. The 'Quakers' Tremble with Fear from Responsibility 58

  5. Behind Closed Shutters 60

  6. End to the Obscurantists 66

  7. To Fight with Reason Rather than with 'Records' 70

  8. God's Fools in Christ 73

  1. The Obscurantist 75

  2. According to their Merits 76

  3. Fanatics on Trial 76

  4. During the Trial Intermission 77

  5. The Sentence Was Met with Approval 81

  6. Under the Mask of a 'Saint' 85


  1. The Chairman in the Role of a Hypocrite 88

  2. Six Who Made the Choice 89

  3. The Trial Should Be Continued 91

  4. Such Things Are Not Forgiven 95

  5. Scales Fell from the Eyes 98



  1. Sectarians on Trial 102

  2. According to their Merits 103

  3. Fanaticism of the Believers and Indifference of the
    Atheists 104

  4. A Proud Badge 110

  5. With the Cross on their Chests and with Switches in
    their Hands

  6. Crimes Against Persons and Citizens' Rights Committed

by Religious Groups 120

  1. Black and Red 128

  2. Wild Fanatics 133



Those Who Spread Darkness
Reason Against Dope




The Road Without God Is Wider
They Received What They Deserved
Is Stepanov a Lost Man?
Prophets and Victims




Extract from 'The Brutal Hypocrites'




Once Upon a Time There Was a Little Girl...





Wearing the Dunce's Cap

Jesus of Nazareth was never under any illusions about what
would befall Him. He told His disciples repeatedly that the Son of
Man would be given into the hands of men to be mocked and
reviled, scourged and crucified. But the beauty of the Son was
never more clearly seen than when those very things came to

Epictetus wrote : 'It is a kingly thing to do well and to be evil
spoken of.' This was the lot of Jesus. But the crown of thorns
honoured Him much more than the ointment used by St. Mary
Magdalene when she anointed Him. The blood which flowed
from His whipped body clothed Him in greater splendour than
any robe which His mother, or admiring women, might have
woven for Him in earlier days.

Hanging on the cross, He revealed the glory of God much
better than when He freely walked through die fields and streets
of Palestine.

If we knew nothing about Jesus except what was spoken of
Him by His opponents, He would still appear as the most lovable
of beings ever to walk of this earth.The Pharisees say to Him.
'Master, we know that Thou art true and teachest the way of God
in truth' (Matt. 22:16). Pilate declares to the angry crowds : 'I
am innocent of the blood of this just person' (Matt. 27: 24). The
man who passed the sentence of death upon Jesus knew Him to be
a 'just person'.

Judas cried: 'I have betrayed the innocent blood' (Matt.
27:4). Jesus was innocent even in the mind of the man who
betrayed Him.

The crowds who stood at the foot of the cross mocked Him
shouting: 'He saved others; Himself He cannot save' (Matt.
27:42). Even in their mockery they had to acknowledge that He
had in fact 'saved others' ! In their reviling they uttered one of
the greatest truths of the story of salvation. He who had saved
others did not save Himself. He who had come down from heaven
did not come down from the cross. Because He reduced Himself
to weakness, Jesus could redeem sinners.



So it has been throughout the history of mankind. Those re-
jected by men often prove in the end to be the greatest of men.

Edison was driven out of school at the age of thirteen, written
off as an idiot. At the age of fourteen he had already made his
first invention. Anatole France's teacher wrote: 'This stupid
child will never learn to write a good French.' But
France became one of the greatest writers of his country, and a
member of the French Academy.

Kant was once rejected for a professorship in philosophy.
Millet's first paintings were rejected. He was so poor that he
could not afford to buy new canvases. His first successful picture
'Oedipus Unbound' was painted over a rejected canvas. The re-
jection has remained a judgement on his critics.

This familiar story of the rejection of worthy men has been
particularly true in the history of the Christian Church. The In-
quisition, happily rejected now by our Catholic friends, marched
heretics towards the
auto-da-fés with dunces' caps on their heads,
wearing clothes on which devils in hell-fire were painted. But the
faces of the heretics mirrored the beauty of the God for whom
they gave their lives. The same applies to those who died for
Christ as they have known Him in the Catholic Church.

Those who have discovered that life does not consist in having
much, but in being the right thinga child of Godhave ap-
peared most beautiful when they have been most despised.

The story has repeated itself in every generation and it is re-
peating itself now in Soviet Russia. We present in this book some
forty articles collected from the Soviet Press. All these articles
speak about Christians of the Underground Church. Orthodox,
Baptists, Adventists, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Old Believers.
The Soviet Press mocks them. Once again we see the Christian
wearing the dunce's cap of ridicule.

But it is the Communists we pity ! They don't know what they

When Pilate showed a bleeding, scourged, thorn-crowned Jesus
to the Jewish mob and said 'Behold the man'he didn't reveal
anything about Jesus. The man he showed was himself! He
showed an unrighteous and cruel judge. So it is with the Com-
munists today. In these and many other thousands of articles they
revile the Christians, showing them in the most gloomy of colours.
But the clearest picture that they give us is not of the Christians,
but of themselves. They show their own spiritual darkness. They
show how blind they are to the truth and to spiritual beauty.


After reading these articles you will not laugh at the Christians
you will pity their oppressors.

In these articles we see the Christians wearing the dunces' caps
but how beautiful they look in them! Even in the pictures
drawn by the Communists, the Bride of Christ appears in her
splendour. We see the beauty of those who have turned their
backs on material possessions and a life of rest to face trouble and
heavy suffering in order that their fellow-men might know eternal

While so many Western Christians seem to be engaged in
having more comfort, the Christians, whom these articles describe,
are engaged in being something higher. A letter received from the
Underground Church in the Communist camp says : 'We don't
wish to be better Christians. It is wrong to have this desire. We
wish to be the only kind of Christians that Christ meant us to be :
Christ-like Christians.' Certainly, as you read about Christians in
the Soviet Union, even as they are described by their worst
enemies, by their torturers and by murderers, you have the im-
pression that you are meeting with Christ Himself. Here is
Christ's mystical body, the real Church, which is ready to suffer
as her Master for the glory of God and the good of mankind.


Before we proceed to read the articles themselves, there are a
number of things that I want to explain. The Western reader may
well pass by phrases in these press reports that are full of sig-

In this section, therefore, I propose to pick out several issues
from the articles and comment on them in the light of my own
experiences as one of the leaders of the Underground Church in

Fishers of men

'Baptists ... attempt to catch in their nets as many victims as
possible' (Article 4, p. 55).

How true is this in the Communist camp? For several years I
led the secret missionary work in the Soviet Army. I have never


met a single lukewarm Russian Christian. In the West, Christians
swim in Bibles and other forms of religious literature, yet they are
often slothful in giving them to others. With us, Christian lit-
erature is printed on secret printing presses and is very scarce.
Very often it has to be written by handeven in the case of
Bibles and New Testaments ! But, oh, how zealous the Christians
are to give out this literature ! The Soviet newspapers say that
even children in school put hand-written Christian leaflets in the
pockets of their teachers' overcoats.

These Christians I speak of really believe that any man they
encounter is an eternal soul. They feel that they cannot be in-
different towards the people they meet, for their eternal destiny
depends on knowing spiritual truth. So they try to open men's

I remember in Rumania that I only had to sit quietly in my
home, and things would happen. One after another, members of
my Underground Church would appear with some new soul they
had 'caught in their net', perhaps as the result of a chance meet-
ing in the queue for bread or potatoes. Perhaps a man would
bring someone from his factory whose interest had been
awakened. Often Christians would enter 'pubs' to find souls.

I have never known an inactive Christian. There is no such
person, for a Christian is either active for God or he is active for
the devil. With us they were active for God.

Even when Christians were put in prison their zeal to win souls
for Christ continued. In solitary confinement they learned to tap
the Gospel in morse, code against their cell walls. They witnessed
to their jailors who had whips in their hands.

Sometimes we 'caught in our nets' very big fish ! Gheorghiu-
Dej, the former Prime Minister of Rumania, was won for Christ
by a servant-maid in his house just as, centuries ago, the servant-
maid St. Sophia had won over Empress Helena, mother of Con-
stantine the Great. The Empress, in turn, had convinced her son
to give liberty to the Christians in the Roman Empire and this
changed the history of the Christian Church and the history of the
world. The Underground Church has penetrated behind the walls
of the Kremlin itself. The daughter of the greatest mass-mur-
derer of Christians was won for God. Brought up under the
strictest Communist discipline, Svetlana Stalin is a trophy of

I have seen Christians in Communist prisons who were dying
and yet witnessing until their last breath.

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