When God Opens a Door…
After the Communists released Richard Wurmbrand from prison in 1965, an American heard him preach in Norway and encouraged him to tell his dramatic story in the United States. According to an article written by his son, Mihai, Pastor Wurmbrand arrived in New York alone in 1966, had so few meetings he considered his trip “a flop,” and was preparing to return to Romania when he decided to contact a friend in Philadelphia whom he had never met but with whom he had corresponded before World War II.
So he called Dr. Victor Buksbazen, head of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry and Israel My Glory magazine. Victor, a Jewish believer in Jesus who had emigrated from Poland before the war, invited Richard to Philadelphia. At the end of the visit, Victor brought Pastor Wurmbrand into Center City so he could see the town before returning him to the train station. Then God opened a door that no one has shut to this day.
The streets were clogged with more than 60,000 people who had shown up for one of the largest pro-left rallies in the country. A Presbyterian minister had taken the podium, praising the Communists. These are the words of Mihai Wurmbrand:
Without a moment’s hesitation, [Pastor Wurmbrand] jumped on the podium. He went straight for the microphone, pushed the speaker aside and shouted into the microphone, “Your Christian brethren suffer under communism and you, a minister, instead of praising their Christian martyrdom, you praise their torturers! You are a Judas! You know nothing of communism. I am a Doctor in Communism!”
The startled Presbyterian pastor laughed back, “There is no such thing as being a ‘Doctor in Communism.’”
“I will show you my credentials,” my father retorted. He took off his shirt to show deep scars on his torso, the results of his treatment by communist torturers in his long years of communist imprisonment. “Do you think it is right for communists to inflict such pain and scars upon a fellow minister?” With these words Rev. Wurmbrand took over the rally, and the rally was finished. The police intervened and asked Rev. Wurmbrand to put on his shirt. Scores of reporters surrounded him, asking him for interviews. He had to extend his stay with his Jewish-Christian friend in Philadelphia to give more interviews.1
More than 80 percent of America’s major newspapers ran the story, complete with photographs; and invitations poured in. Overnight Richard Wurmbrand had become famous and was able to take his message throughout the United States.
- Michael (Mihai) Wurmbrand, “Snapshots: A Son Remembers His Father,” 2009 <torturedforchrist.com/remember>.