Our family enjoys reading missionary biographies
a couple times a year, at least. They always seem to powerfully
demonstrate God's hand at work in our world. They also give us
beautiful examples of lives lived faithfully, boldly, and wholly
for Christ. Recently, we enjoyed the uniquely written biography
Imprisoned for Christ. This is the story of the Wurmbrand family,
a marvelous book that has earned a well-deserved spot on our bookshelf.
Imprisoned for Christ is the student version of Richard Wurmbrand's
original biography, Tortured for Christ. I estimate the student
version is written for children from 2nd grade through 6th grade,
although my 9th grader enjoyed our read-aloud time, too.
Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian Jew turned Christian preacher,
who lived during the time of WWII and Communism. Because of their
outspoken faith in Jesus Christ, he and his wife were imprisoned
and tortured on more than one occasion, and even separated from
each other and their son at times. The things they were able to
accomplish, despite the persecution, are literally amazing. Miraculously,
they overcame all the persecution, and eventually migrated to the
United States. They became the founders of what would eventually
be known as The Voice of the Martyrs, publishers of Imprisoned
for Christ, as well as many other publications that make known
the persecution of Christians around the world. Voice of the Martyrs
also strives to share God's provisions and miracles for the persecuted
church, as well as educating people on how they can help in various
The story is written in 14 quick-to-read chapters, and tells about
many of the family's struggles and victories, through the eyes
of father Richard, mother Sabina, or son Mihai. The viewpoints
change throughout the book, making it both unique and interesting.
Scattered throughout the chapters are definition boxes, which help
children understand pertinent terms like Nazi, Muslim, or ration
card. When helpful, small maps are included, too. Included at the
end is a timeline of the events mentioned in the book, as well
as a glossary of the Bible verses referenced. Additionally, you'll
find a list of 100 practical ideas about how to help the persecuted
church of today. Most of the ideas are not at all difficult to
implement, and many of them could easily be considered as schoolwork.
As you can imagine, the storyline speaks about tough issues. In as
tactful a way as possible, the truth of the Wurmbrand's experiences
is shared - things like running from terrorists, or being placed
in prison. On the other hand, the book also shares the immense courage,
bold witness, and beautiful faith of each member of their family.
You will have to make the call on whether or not your children are
ready to hear about the persecution. Just like every other publication
I've ever read from Voice of the Martyrs, I give Imprisoned
for Christ two thumbs up, especially for the younger crowd.