Richard Wurmbrand (1909-2001) – Defender of Persecuted Christians

Richard Wurmbrand (sketch by Cristi Bandi)

NOTE: Today is Wurmbrand Feast Day, the celebration day of a Protestant ‘saint’. I share with you here the short presentation of this ‘man of faith – man of justice’, done by Adina Petric for the St Nicholas Project.

Richard Wurmbrand, who earned the name of ‘the Apostle Paul of the Iron Curtain’, was one of the most striking preachers of the 20th century and fought to defend the rights of persecuted Christians.

Wurmbrand was born into a Jewish family in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, in 1909. As a young man he was attracted by the Communist movement, but he soon realised that its promises were false ones. His life was transformed after he met a carpenter who gave him a Bible. His reading of Scripture and the experience of meeting other believers led to his conversion to the Christian faith.

During the Second World War, Wurmbrand was involved in undercover missionary work and helped many Jews to survive. He also preached in numerous air raid shelters and was arrested a number of times.

Wurmbrand continued his missionary activities even after the coming to power of the Communist Party in Romania, although he knew that the authorities regarded what he was doing as illegal. This led to his arrest by the Communist authorities in February 1948. For eight years he was held in solitary confinement under a false name. At first the authorities said that he had fled the country, but later a number of Communist agents posing as former detainees suggested to his family that he had in fact died in prison. He was freed in 1956, but two years later he was imprisoned again, this time for six years.

Pastor Wurmbrand was finally released in 1964 as a result of a general amnesty of prisoners and settled in the United States with his family. While he was in Philadelphia, he happened to be passing a public demonstration in support of the Communist regime in Vietnam. The demonstration was suddenly interrupted by an unknown person who claimed to have a doctorate in Communism. As he spoke these words, he showed the crowd the scars of old wounds on his chest and back as evidence of the torture to which he had been subjected. Then the stranger – no other than Wurmbrand –exhorted those present to side with the victims and not with the torturers.

Later, Wurmbrand gave evidence before the US Senate Committee on Internal Security. As a result, news of the atrocities Christians were suffering in Communist countries spread throughout the world.

While in America, he founded Voice of the Martyrs, an organisation that fights against the persecution of Christians by Communist regimes anywhere in the world.

Richard Wurmbrand died in 2001. His legacy – quite apart from his Christian testimony and his books – can be summed up in his own words: “In all that I have suffered alongside my brethren in the faith, it is Jesus Christ alone that I want to be seen. He is the one who kept us in the faith and gave us the power to be victorious”.

What Is Happening These Days in Cuba

[The press all over the world, including Romania, is utterly blind to the current events in Cuba. That is why I asked a friend of mine there to share with us about the situation. Here is what he wrote.]

This year has been really tense, because of the economic pressure from Trump admin. Covid added to it but Cuban gov had a great opportunity to open the economy. They did some reforms but not what people expected or needed. One of the most infamous ones was the opening of stores where you can only buy using foreign currency such as dollars, euros and so on through a magnetic card (no cuc [Cuban convertible] and no Cuban pesos allowed). It’s impossible for Cubans to get that money into the card in a legal way, the only way is some have to send it to you from overseas, it’s persecuted to change currency form hand to hand. So now “normal” stores are being changed into these new kind of stores so Cubans have ever less options which means very long lines, scarcity and strict controls on what you buy. In 2020 covid has been maybe the smallest of our problems.

Small and individual protests, memes and articles have been circulating in social media criticizing everything, also there were some attempts to organize strikes but with no much success 

Then a few days ago a Cuban rapper recorded a video with offensive lyrics to the government. The rapper was put in jail (normal procedure here) but this time a group of artists and activists called “Movimiento San Isidro” (MSI) decided to do a meeting at their leader’s house to protest by reading poetry and making indoor art and show it online. The government started once again to harass them, they closed their street to prevent anyone to join them or provide them food and water. MSI answered declaring a hunger strike, some of them even declared hunger and thirst strike. This lasted like 10 days under violent arrestment which Cubans were able to follow online.

Then on Nov 26 police decided to invade the house and take everyone out of there by force. Social Media went off during a couple of hours, people started to fear the worst. When the internet came back people were really angry demanding to know where the group was taken. The women appeared in their houses a few hours later but most of men were still missing.

On Nov 27 a group of artists decide to go to Culture Ministry demanding to meet with the “Ministro”, they were around ten. Security didn’t allow them to get in so they started posting on social media and more artists started to show up by night time they were over 300, some say 500 demanding to talk, among them some of the MSI managed to arrive. They were able to meet with the “vice ministro” by midnight while government cut power in the zone and once again tried to prevent people to send food and water to the protesters. But nobody moved. That night the group didn’t achieved much really, but the whole nation was watching on Facebook mostly. Since 1994 and the “Balseros” crisis nothing like that happened. 27th of November will be remember as an historic day.

Since that day the government is trying hard to defame the protesters and portrait them as mercenaries or even terrorists. But that protest has inspired youth from all over the country to replicate it and to try to organize more protests. Now people want to protest those new stores, to protests lack of freedom of expression, to protests police brutality, to protest for the liberation of this rapper (by the way: the leader of MSI and another very famous political prisoner were freed today, 2 in just 1 day, that’s very telling). It’s a wave, an awakening of this generation. Nobody can tell where we are heading, nobody could predict what was about to happen that 27th of November and the after shocks. There are even people attacking the new stores (although I think that is part of the government strategy to justify the heavy militarization of Havana that started yesterday).

This is only part of what’s happening, my friend, but literally every hour something new appears. One thing is certain and there’s a phrase circulating on social media that describes it very well: “They took everything from us and they ended up taking also our fear”. Since Nov 27th maybe communism is still standing, but this nation will never be the same.

Alex Nadaban – Raspuns la textul meu despre ‘generatia expirata’

Alexandru Nadaban

Pierderi & câștiguri: „generația expirată” – o generație ce s-a sacrificat

În cele ce urmează, voi încerca să exprim câteva gânduri vizavi de articolul prietenului meu Dănuț Mănăstireanu Generația expirată – de ce și cu cât folos apărut recent în revista Convergențe. Nu încerc o critică a articolului, ci mai degrabă un alt punct de vedere. Ba chiar risc să expun cam aceleași idei în alte cuvinte. Volens nolens mă voi încadra în dualista zicală a pesimistului & optimistului: „Mai rău nu se poate!” „Ba se poate!”

Cu toate acestea nu voi încerca să-mi sistematizez scrierea despărțind pierderile de câștiguri. O să vedeți de ce mai încolo.

Aș începe prin a reafirma un adevăr, o situație care ne-a marcat pe toți cei menționați de Dănuț care se încadrează în această generație. Cei pe care o să-i denumesc generic oamenii/liderii din fotografie – câțiva, în contact cu Navigatorii, îi deconspiră Dănuț Mănăstireanu.


Cu unele excepții (printre care un doctor, un avocat, un economist, un psiholog, un compozitor), cei din generația ’50-’70 am fost educați în discipline tehnice, dar asta era politica Partidului Comunist Român: realizările mărețe nu se puteau îndeplini fără ingineri. Ca urmare studiul materialelor scrise, metodele de studiu sistematic și individual, disciplina în metodă ne-au venit ca o mănușă. Asta aș putea spune și despre cei ce nu făcuseră o facultate la acea vreme (aici mă recunosc pe mine), dar au avut parte de aceleași provocări când era vorba despre tehnică, Biblie și biserică.

Cu unele excepții (printre care un doctor, un avocat, un economist, un psiholog, un compozitor), cei din generația ’50-’70 am fost educați în discipline tehnice.

Eram analitici pentru că lucram în industrie și făceam legătura între ceva scris în plan, desen, specificații, norme și producția fizică. Nu existau chestii filosofice, nu puteai să introduci ceva out of nowhere. Era vorba de ceva ce fie funcționa, fie era rebut, adică greșit. Nu existau alternative. Nu se puteau face scamatorii. Doar activiștii de partid dădeau din gură fără să spună nimic. Iar dacă totuși mobilizau oamenii, activitatea lor era fără efecte de lungă durată. Noi nu ne doream așa ceva. Accentul se punea pe calitate. Ei încercau scamatorii ideologice, noi credeam că se pot muta și munții-n mare prin credință.

Cu toții am fost slujitori laici ai bisericii. Toți eram educați în spiritul muncii și eticii socialiste, iar din punct de vedere legal și profesional (poate doar cu excepția lui Dănuț, Beni Fărăgău și a încă câtorva) lucram la stat. Chiar dacă doar unii dintre noi erau diaconi ordinați în bisericile în care slujeam, asta nu ne împiedica să fim antrenați în lucrări în care eram lideri pentru că făceam ceva atrăgător și de calitate. Aveam un discurs lipsit de clișeele tradiționale, un stil de abordare a problemelor ce nu se limita la îngustimi dictate de demonii culturali, naționaliști sau ideologici tradiționali ai pocăiților.

Cititi acest text in integralitatea lui pe situl revistei Convergente.

‘Generalul meu’

Gen Marin Ilie
Portret al Gen. Loc. Marin Ilie, fost Rector al Academiei Miitare

Astăzi am primit prin email un mesaj pe care Gen. Loc. Marin Ilie l-a trimis mai multora dintre prietenii săi. Textul este urmat de o postare din decembrie 2017, de pe blogul meu, în care povesteam împrejurările în care l-am cunoscut și apoi l-am reîntâlnit pe domnul Marin Ilie.

Cu permisiunea sa, îl transcriu și aici, cu două precizări importante.

Mai întâi, Domnul General este, ca întotdeauna, mult prea amabil in ceea ce spune despre mine.

În al dolea rând, deși am fost la începutul ani,or 90, timp de un an, pastor part-time al unei biserici baptiste, identitatea mea esențială nu a fost niciodată aceea a unui cleric, ci a unui teolog laic.

Iată aici textul mesajului de care vorbeam mai sus:

Vă trimit mărturisirea Domnului Pastor din Glasgow, Dănuț Mănăstireanu, pentru a combate penibila scuză a celor care au făcut rău că ”așa erau timpurile”! Am fost până în 1989, ateu convins, iar un după un fapt menționat de Domnul Pastor, respectiv întâlnirea cu Vrednicul de Pomenire, Mitropolitul Olteniei, Nestor Vornicescu, mare cărturar, am început studiul Bibliei, pe care l-am încheiat în Mai anul acesta. Nu din porniri religioase l-am apărat pe TR-istul viitor Pastor, ci pentru convingerea că era nedrept tratamentul la care era supus un militar disciplinat, patriot și care respecta Legea! Mi-a rămas cel mai bun și respectat prieten! Corespondăm, ne împărtășim realizările dar și unele neîmpliniri și îl numesc în inima mea ”dragul meu Pastor”!

Cu prietenie,

Marin Ilie

* * *

Urbi et orbi – 1973, Vanju Mare

Danut militar
DanutM, soldat, Vanju Mare, 1973

Urmărind în ziua de Crăciun transmisiunea de la Vatican a mesajului papal urbi et orbi din ziua Crăciunului 2017, care este întotdeauna emoționantă pentru mine (ce să facem, vor spune unii, „un ecumenist va fi întotdeauna un ecumenist!”; la care eu răspund: „amin!”), mi-am adus aminte de un alt Crăciun, de acum exact 44 de ani.

În decembrie 1973 mă aflam într-o unitate militară la Vânju Mare, în Mehedinți, unde făceam armata la termen redus, la intendență, înainte de începerea studiilor universitare economice. Tocmai împlinisem 19 ani. Cele opt luni petrecute acolo au reprezentat una dintre cele mai dificile perioade din viața mea.

Când am ajuns în unitate, purtam deja asupra mea eticheta unui proscris. Pe dosarul meu scria „baptist”, ceea ce, în limbajul militar comunist se traducea prin „sectant”, „retrograd”, „dușman al patriei”, și altele asemenea. Am fost preluat imediat sub observație de ofițerul de contrainformații, securistul unității militare, care a recrutat imediat câțiva informatori dintre colegii mei (delațiunile lor aveam să le găsesc mulți ani mai târziu, în primul meu dosar de urmărire de la Securitate – au fost în total patru la număr, și care acum se află transcris în întregime pe acest blog – dacă vă interesează, găsiți aceste documente, însoțite de comentarii, dând o căutare după expresia „File I-1065”). Au urmat interogatorii umilitoare, batjocuri („nu avem nevoie de savanți pocăiți în țara noastră”, amenințări („nu vei termina niciodată facultatea”, și multe asemenea.

O singura raza de lumină am avut în tot acest marasm: șeful de stat major al unității militare, locotenentul major Marin Ilie. El a fost singurul care mi-a luat apărarea și nu i-a permis securistului să-și facă mendrele cu mine până la capăt, lucru pentru care îi sunt și acum extrem de recunoscător.

Peste ani, după 1989, spre surprinderea mea, într-o duminică dimineață, chiar înainte de a pleca la biserică, aveam să primesc un telefon. Vocea de la celălalt capăt al firului mi-a spus: „Sunt general Marin Ilie. Știți despre cine este vorba?” Am rămas înmărmurit. Fostul locotenent major, acum general în retragere, pensionat din înalta poziție de Rector al Academiei Militare, mi-a povestit, pe scurt, pelerinajul lui spiritual, de la agnosticism la o credință vie și coerent articulată. Rolul de declanșator l-a jucat o Biblie primită în dar de la Mitropolitul Nestor Vornicescu, pe când era, cu ceva timp înainte de 1989, Comandant al Armatei a treia, la Craiova. De atunci înainte, până astăzi, primesc din când în când, fie un email, fie un mesaj pe Messenger, cu aprecieri care mă fac să mă simt prea mic pentru un om atât de mare, și încurajări în slujirea creștină în care sunt implicat. Texte din Scriptură sau citate din Sfinții Părinți adaugă greutate cuvintelor sale. Am realizat mai apoi prestigiul extraordinar de care se bucură între militari și nemilitari acest om excepțional (unii dintre nenumărații lui admiratori îl numesc „cel mai titrat ofițer al Armatei Române”).

Acest episod, pe care nu se putea să nu-l amintesc, vorbind de timpul petrecut în armată, este unul dintre cele mai frumoase daruri pe care le-am primit vreodată de la Dumnezeu. Sper să mă ierte domnul Marin Ilie pentru faptul că, de fiecare dată când povestesc acest episod incredibil prietenilor mei, și am făcut-o de zeci și zeci de ori, în numesc „generalul meu”. Desigur, nu este doar al meu. El este mai întâi al familiei sale, apoi al tuturor recruților și ofițerilor care au slujit sub bastonul lui, și în chip suprem, al Armatei Române. Dar, din pricina acestei mici istorii, cred că pot spune că el este, și rămâne, și „generalul meu”.

Dar nu despre asta voiam să vă povestesc aici. Spre sfârșitul lui decembrie 1973 eram deja de aproape trei luni departe de casă și singurătatea, din pricina lipsei de comuniune cu comunitatea eclesială era sfâșietoare. Nu aveam voie să avem la noi Biblii (abia după Anul Nou avea să-mi aducă un unchi un mic Nou Testament, pe care l-am introdus pe furiș în unitate și pe care l-am ascuns după un tablou în sala în care făceam cursurile; în ziua în care am plecat definitiv din unitate, am mers să-l recuperez, dara sala era încuiată, așa încât a trebuit să-l abandonez; m-am întrebat adesea cine oare l-o fi găsit). De asemenea, nu aveam voie nici să participăm la slujbe religioase, mai ales în uniformă.

După ce se dădea stingerea, pe la 9.30pm, mă apucam de scris, în camera furierilor, în care câțiva olteni fumau ca niște turci, cele 3-5 scrisori pe care le trimiteam zilnic – a fost singurul mijloc prin care mi-am putut păstra, cât de cât, sănătatea mentală în nebunia de acolo, spre disperarea securistului, care trebuia sa le citească. Dintre acestea, una era adresată viitoarei mele soții, Mihaela, căreia i-am scris zilnic în cele 8 luni de armata. Spre invidia colegilor mei, în fiecare zi primeam, ca răspuns, 2-3 scrisori (cine știe câte dintre ele fuseseră oprite de securist!).

În vremea aceea, nu-mi amintesc exact prin ce împrejurări, am obținut un mic aparat de radio, cu o casca primitivă. Nici nu știu cum am reușit să-l dosesc ca să nu fie găsit la desele controale care se făceau la valizele de lemn cu care veniserăm cu toții de acasă. Cu ajutorul acelui aparat de radio, după ce mergeam la culcare, cu pătura trasă peste cap, și cu casca la ureche, ascultam muzică și programe de știri. Ba chiar, uneori, reușeam, cu greu, să ascult emisiuni transmise de Vocea Americii. Evident, acest lucru era interzis, și riscul era mare. Dar eu eram deja veteran. Împreună cu tatăl meu, ascultam Vocea Americii și Europa liberă încă de la vârsta de cinci-șase ani. Dacă eram prins, puteam plăti cu zile bune de arest. Cel puțin, dacă nu mult mai mult. Din fericire, m-a ferit Dumnezeu.

În noaptea ce 25 decembrie eram în dormitorul în care se odihneau aproape o sută de „teriști” (soldați cu termen redus), cu pătura trasă peste cap, și cu radioul deschis și cu căștile la urechi, încercând să prind vreo emisiune religioasă. Și, deodată, spre marea mea bucurie, am reușit să „prind” Vocea Americii, care transmitea, de la Vatican, înregistrarea ceremoniei urbi et orbi, care avusese loc la amiaza acelei zile. Nu vă pot spune cu câtă bucurie am ascultat atunci mesajul papei Paul al VI-lea, care a fost pentru mine mai mult decât o sută de predici, și cât de mișcat am fost să aud, la sfârșit, urarea papală „Crăciun fericit”, în multe limbi, dar și în limba română. Nimeni nu-mi făcuse urări de Crăciun în ziua aceea sau în cele precedente, căci nu era politically correct. Și, iată, în compensare, mi-am primit urarea de Crăciun chiar din gura Papei.

Și-am încălecat pe-o șea, și v-am spus povestea mea. 🙂

Să aveți și voi un Crăciun de poveste, oriunde v-ați afla.


Travel testimony from Sofie and Debora – Romania 1987 – August 30th to September 12th

TraTram in Iasi - PIata Unirii
Tram in Iasi, Piata Unirii, 1987 [same trams are still in use in the city to this day!]

NOTE: A few days ago I recived a message from Debora Eckert, a person who visited our family in Romania in 1987, together with her friend Sophie. With her permission, I share here their report of this trip, which offers a perspective on the grip reality of my country two years before the fall of communism. The pictures I use here are the ones they have taken during that trip.

* * *

Debora with Lia Dora  Sofie at breakfast
Debora with a child              Sophie at breakfast, at the back of their van

For this trip we did not use the VW van, but we got a VW Golf compact car which had a trailer tent attached to it. This trailer allowed you to open the cover plate to 280 degrees and it turned into the entrance. At the same time, a big tent stretched over both parts. On the bottom of the trailer was a big mattress. This was going to be our bedroom for the next two weeks. Under this mattress was a secret compartment. It was covered with a big wooden plane. This empty space was 2 meters long (6.56 feet), 1.80 meters in width (5.91 feet) and about 15 centimetres deep (0.49 feet). In this secret void we hid about 120 Bibles in the Romanian language, 120 new testaments and 40 big bibles for children (bible for little eyes) and about 200 copies of “Das Leben Jesu” (“The life of Jesus”). It was impossible to find the opening for this secret void and it was only possible to open it with a secret tool. This trailer was made by specialists for this exact use.

We started our journey on Sunday, August 30th, 1987, at 7 am in the morning in Munich (Bavaria, Germany). Since we were not able to drive fast with this trailer we split the drive into 2 days. We spent the night in Hungary in the middle of nowhere. On August 31st around 2pm in the afternoon we arrived at the border of Romania at the junction by Oradea.

During the last few miles before the border we took the opportunity to realize what it would mean for us if the Bibles would get found and what consequences we would have to face. We talked through how we would react in this situation in detail. We were aware of the risk that we were taking, but we still wanted to take the risk anyways: Because we felt called by God to support and encourage persecuted Christians; and because we wanted to bring the Word of God into the country. Especially because we knew that so many people in Romania were asking for it. Just before the border area we stopped on the side of the road and took time to pray. Once again, we put everything into God’s hands. After we felt ready, we continued to drive to the border.

The release plus waiting time took only 2 hours this time, which was shorter than usual. But the search by the border officers was very thorough and in detail. They literally opened every single bag and suitcase that was in our car. In the car we had our personal items, but also carried other supplies such as clothes and groceries, which we declared as personal items. We did that because of the reason that we would not have to give out the church address where we would drop all supplies. We had memorized all addresses from our Christian friends before we got to the border and destroyed the papers where it was written on.

First our car was searched thoroughly, even the under the hood. The border officers used mirrors to view the bottom of the car and even tapped all four panels of the car doors. They even searched the seats and the roof! We definitely would have not been able to smuggle anything. Next was the trailer. We had to open it for the officers so they were able to search it from every possible side and from the inside as well as from the outside. The floor of our trailer was very suspicious and thick. One of the officers started to search the floor more in detail. He walked inside the tent and tapped and knocked on the floor. He came back outside and tapped on the side of the trailer and also from the bottom. He scratched his head and asked us why the floor was so thick. I answered “This is the insulation”.

At this point I was pretty sure that we were done. It was just a matter of time until he would find all these Bibles and books. I thought he would go get a drill anytime and just drill through the wood plate. The papers would have come up, but apparently, they didn’t dare to do it. Sofie and I just pretended like we didn’t care. We sat in the sun, drank some juice and talked and laughed and pretended like this wasn’t making us nervous at all. We were freaking out on the inside. I already had my purse and all my documents with me because I expected them to call us in the office any time.

When the tension had reached its top, the border office who had been searching the floor of the trailer suddenly walked away from the trailer and yelled “Open your suitcase!”. Once again, he searched through our suitcases and bags and the car one more time, including the hood etc. He was obviously upset that he couldn’t figure out how the trailer worked, and he needed to relieve some anger. I still expected that he would call other officers and clear the situation, but then he just walked away and yelled “wrap up and go!”

Sofie and I looked at each other and almost didn’t believe it: We were allowed to keep driving! For us it was a miracle. God kept us and the Bibles safe. It is true: when we are weak God is strong through us!

on the road to Iasi3
They did not need gas for these modern means of transportation

After the city of Oradea, we drove directly towards Cluj Napoca. On the way there we tried to get gas multiple times, but all the gas stations were signed with “No gas”. Even though we bought extra ‘gift cards’ for gas. So, we arrived Cluj on a very empty tank. One of our addresses was in Cluj of a Christian brother named Gheorghe, to whom we wanted to give the literature.

It was already dark when we finally arrived. The street on which Gheorghe was living was easy to find, because it was the big street coming from Oradea. He lived in one of those tower blocks that were known for Eastern Europe. We parked our car in the shade of a big transportation truck in a dark corner where the streetlights were broken. It was a good bit away from his house, so he was in decreased risk. From there we walked by foot and tried to find his house/apartment unsuspiciously. When we arrived at his apartment, we realized that he did not speak any English. But he called a brother of the church, David, who arrived about 15 minutes later and was able to translate for us. We knew David from our last trip and with him we had agreed to bring the literature to Cluj.

They both were really happy to hear that we brought bibles and literature and they suggested to transfer everything that same night outside of the city. We agreed on a meeting location: Beyond the next village, Floresti, turn right into the next gravel road. We were supposed to follow that road for a while until we were far enough from the street.

We stayed to eat a snack and then prayed together. Afterwards we wanted to leave the apartment separately and in different directions. But then David saw some militia officers walking up and down in front of the house. Apparently, they had found our German car and have gotten suspicious. Gheorghe advised us to leave the building through the back door and to walk a good detour back to our car. He also described the way to the next Peco (gas station) because we really needed some gas before we met!

It was around midnight, but we could not find the gas station anywhere. We finally stopped and asked a militia officer for the way to the Peco. He was very friendly and helpful and described the way through sign language because he did not speak English either. Suddenly, our car turned off and we could not turn it back on. The gas tank was completely empty! We were not able to drive one more mile. This was a really crazy situation: We were standing in front of a militia officer who was trying to help us, with our car full of illegal literature and were waiting for the transfer. He asked a pedestrian if he was able to translate for us. Suddenly, there was a guy who had a five liter can of gas in his hand. He was willing to lend us his gas, if we would drive him to the gas station and fill it again. This was how Romanians are! There is always someone, who knows someone, who can help. And everyone helps out everyone. Well, that’s how it used to be. However, we filled the gas in our tank and drove to the gas station with the Romanian guy, who now was also our GPS. When we arrived, we filled his gas can back up and filled our tank as well. We drove the helpful man back to the street where we met him. This took a lot of extra time. More than planned.

Finally, we started driving to our meeting location behind Floresti. Luckily our brothers were still there. Praise the Lord! I was afraid, they had given up and went back home. We were finally able to hand over the literature. In the middle of the night, hidden by the dark, we opened the trailer and took the books out of the cavity. They were so amazed when they saw how many bibles we brought, and they had trouble to hide everything in their Dacia/car. But they were very happy and thankful! They told us that they had received only 60 books in this year from the West, and that they really needed the literature. When it was time to say goodbye they told us: “Come back! Please come back again!”. Then we had to move quick and to decrease the risk of being discovered we drove separate directions. In this night we did not drive very far and very soon found a spot for sleep.

on the road to Iasi1
Building hay stacks in  the mountains

The next morning, after a relaxed breakfast, we went towards Iasi. We felt a lot more relief, since we were without any illegal cargo and it almost felt like vacation to us! The university city of Iasi lays in the furthest Northeast of the country, which is called Moldova. The way there led us through the Carpati mountains, and the roads were in a very bad condition, but the landscape and the nature was untouched and stunning!

on the road to Iasi2
Women washing loundry in the river

We took two days for the journey and spent one night in the wilderness of the Romanian mountains. On Wednesday night we arrived the city of Iasi.

At first, we tried to get a spot at a campground so we could spend the night there. That campground belonged to a motel and we had to check-in at the reception. I remembered that from the year before. It was already 22:00 when we told the lady at the reception that we wanted a spot at the campground. She replied with a simple “No” and when I asked “Why?” she answered, “No space.” Everything is reserved!”

We had looked at the campground earlier and we knew that only one car was parked there. I told her: “That’s not possible. It’s empty!” But she barely spoke English and obviously she did not want to understand me either. And since there were multiple people behind me in line she started to ignore me and took care of the next customer. We were standing there tired and confused and thought about our options. Since there was no other option for us, we simply parked our car and trailer on the field next to the campground behind some trees. This experience was very typical for Romanian culture as well and I had stopped trying to understand everything a long time ago.

On the next morning after breakfast we went to the reception one more time in the hope that the lady’s shift had ended, and we could talk to someone else. When we got there, there was another person indeed. An older and very friendly man who welcomed us nicely. I told him “Good morning! We would like a spot on your campground.” He replied “Of course. Please give me your passports.” He gave us the keys and we were able to drive our car plus trailer on the campground. This way we were able to leave the trailer on the campground and just take the car into the city, which was a lot less complicated of course.

A bread store in the city

On this day we were searching for the address of Corina S., who I knew from last year. Unfortunately, we did not see her, because she was on a trip with young teens in the mountains. Her grandmother was at home by herself, the mother of Constantin and Teodor S., who both live in the USA now. Since she did not speak any English, she called a brother from her church who was able to come by and translated for us. His name was Danut M., but he preferred not to talk inside the house, because he was scared of being monitored (listened to). At this time, it was strictly limited to have any contact with foreigners. And if they did, Romanians were forced to inform the government. So, we took a walk with him in the botanical garden. We told him that we brought food and clothes. He also wanted to do the transfer for that at night when it was dark, and he also preferred doing it outside of the city. But as he was not able to get a car, we brought the items to his house. For this action we also had to wait until it was dark. At that time Dan lived also in a block with many apartments. He asked us not to talk inside the staircase and to bring the bags through the back door and then quickly disappear in his apartment. I realized that the Christians were a lot more careful in this region of Moldova than they were in Siebenbürgen (Transylvania). This is probably because Siebenbürgen (Transylvania) has a lot more tourism and family members from other countries who come to visit, which makes foreigners a little less noticeable.

Danut and his family invited us for dinner. Inside the apartment there were everywhere boxes and cardboards, like they were moving. Mihaela, Dan’s wife, explained that they were redoing the kitchen at the moment. When she showed us the kitchen I understood why. From the bottom to the top the walls were filled with mould. Literally all the wall was black! She explained that the heating system often just stops working during winter, because the communist government is not able to provide all buildings with natural gas. Last winter it was so cold that the water vapor from cooking condensed on the ice-cold concrete walls and would run down the wall to the floor. During very cold times the water would freeze on the inside of the walls and would form an ice layer. I think, we cannot imagine what it means to live in a Romanian concrete block of flats – especially not in the winter!

Further they told us that most groceries were only available through ration cards, such as flour, oil, butter, eggs and fish. All of these groceries are rationed per person and per month. Most of the time they are out of stock in the stores. You are able to get bread daily as well as oil. Flour is rarer, and cooking oil is available on the ration card, but not really available in the store. If you want meat, you need to get it from someone out in the country (a farmer). Those circumstances are devastating! The winter will be awful, if nothing happens soon!

Dan also told us that it had some consequences that we visited Iasi the last year. In the year before I went with a sister from Berlin to Iasi and we met Constantin and Teodor S. there. The house of the family was watched and monitored day and night afterwards and no one was able to secretly visit them. And there was another thing with Constantin: He got caught with bibles and so got blamed that he tried to murder a police officer! In Romania nobody will be sued officially for having bibles, because the law allows freedom of religion. So, they make up other reasons to lock you up. The judge convicted him for seven years in prison! Constantin’s sister who has been living in the United States of America for a while stood up for him. Apparently, she went to Reagan. Anyway, she made sure that his case was made public in the western media. After that the Romanian Securitate was quiet for a while, apparently, they realized that they went a little too far. Both of the brothers received an exit permit and they live now in the United States.

Dan asked as for an urgent favor to the bretheren in the west: He said, if we are ready invest so much money and time to come to Romania and if we even risk our own freedom and the freedom of other Christians in the country, we should bring books and literature that is worth it! Bibles are always welcome, he said and good books for youth groups and children are necessary as well as books for adults. Bring only good books. In his opinion there has been brought a lot of “garbage” in the country, and he thinks it is sad that we risk so much for bad books. He wasn’t speaking about the literature that we had brought!

After we visited the church service in the Baptist church of Iasi on Friday night at 18:00, which was very good, we left and started driving towards Sighisoara (Transylvania). It was not possible to drive this distance in one day, so we spent one night in the mountains again.

When we arrived on the camp ground on Sunday night we experienced another unhappy surprise: This time they let us in, but the whole camp ground was full of lost dogs, which were running around our tent and barked all night, which made it impossible for us to sleep. The water from the tap was so brown and dirty that I was disgusted by it for washing and drinking! After two nights we changed to another campground: Villa Franka, but there were people partying with really loud music all night, which made it impossible for us to sleep as well.


The day after our arrival we drove into the city to visit the family Gheorghita. It was easy and fast for us to find the house from our memory, even though we did not write down the address. As usual, we parked our car a few streets away. After we just had started walking a yellow Dacia drove by and suddenly came to a complete stop. When we looked around, we realized that it was Gheorghita, who jumped out of the car and welcomed us happily. Dieter, who was a brother from the German church in Sighisoara, was sitting behind the wheel. They both became friends after they had been hospitalised together.

This was perfect timing, because just after a few minutes they had to leave to spend the afternoon somewhere else. (Cell phones had not been invented yet!) So, they changed their plans and we went to the family of Victor. His dad immediately went to the market and bought us a watermelon as a welcome. While we were eating a bunch of other family members, friends and brothers and sisters of the church stopped by to see us. Everyone was so happy that we were here, and it felt really good to us to be welcome like this.

On the same night we drove to the city Medias together with Victor to visit brother Voda. This actually hasn’t really been our plan, but during our journey we had the feeling we were supposed to drive to Medias. When we arrived in the Baptist church the choir was practicing. Brother Voda was so happy to see us! He invited us to his house and gave us all the foods, after we told him that we had already eaten.

We asked about Blaga Mihai, who ran away to Yugoslavia and got captured and sent back to Romania. No, he has been in custody for a very long time in Romania. Brother Voda knew that he would have a court hearing on September 10th, which was held in Medias, pretty much as an example to all citizens and to scare them not to do the same. (We heard about the judgement of one year and 8 months of imprisonment after we arrived back home.)

Ioan Voda is not working as truck driver anymore but works as a mechanic at the Romanian train tracks for the past four years. He is responsible for maintaining the trains in a good condition. He told us that his boss just started believing the gospel and he got baptized at church. A brother took pictures during the baptism, which were seized by the militia afterwards. They were considered proof that his boss became a Christian and that it was Voda’s fault.

Since then he experiences a lot of rejection at work and his colleagues were making a lot of problems for him. If there is a task that is particularly hard and difficult, they always give it to Voda. If there is something urgent at night time or at the weekend, he is always the one who gets sent.

Even his oldest daughter feels the discrimination of Christians. After she graduated from high school, she tried to find work. It was necessary that someone else in the household contributed and made money, because they had a lot of children. She applied at a big company in the same city, but even all other girls from her school got accepted, she was the only one who got denied. When she asked why she didn’t get accepted they first told her: We don’t have any open spots! When she asked why all other girls from her class got a spot they said: It’s because of your faith, we don’t want any religious people!

Officially there is no unemployment in Romania, but everybody gives Christians a very hard time. For example, Victor is not allowed to study at a university because he is a believer. Examples like this are very common. Brother Voda has been thinking about applying for an emigration permit. He also asked us, if we, as a Christian church in Munich, would be to help him with that, but at the moment this is still far away. He hasn’t even applied for it yet and who knows if he ever will be able to do that.

Addition: Brother I. Voda lives with his family in the USA today. Victor G. and his parents live in the USA as well. Dieter B. went to Germany. Danut M. lives in Scotland today, also his two grown up children with their families.

Asia Harvest – The Brutal Persecution of the Chinese Church

A real picture of a Chinese believer named Huang Xikai being tortured by Communist police

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

Although the Apostle Paul didn’t go into detail about the kind of pressure he was under when he visited areas in present-day Turkey, it’s interesting that the Greek words he used here were in relation to what occurs when a heavy stone, weighing as much as 300 pounds, was slowly lowered onto the chest of a restrained person to torture them. The pressure gradually increased as the stone came down, making it almost impossible to breath. The victim was immobilized, unable to move forward or back. They were completely helpless. That’s the kind of pressure Paul experienced when sharing the gospel.

As believers, we often face hardships, but many times we manage to find an escape route, or at least we are able to delay the pain. Sometimes, however, there are no options available, and we must be totally stripped of all props. God is able to bring us to a place of utter helplessness in ourselves or in other people. All we are left with is Jesus, and if He does not sustain us, we will die.

When we get to this place, we will be able to say with Paul that we “rely not on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” Indeed, God did figuratively raise Paul from the dead on that and many other occasions, and he continued to establish God’s kingdom among the Gentiles until the day God called him home.

In China today, many Christians also feel like Paul did. Since President-for-life, Xi Jinping, announced his plans to clamp down on religion, massive persecution has broken out against God’s people, in ways that have not been seen since Mao’s demonic campaigns to destroy Christianity from the 1950s to the 1970s.

In this newsletter, and subsequent issues, we plan to share a thorough overview of what is going on in China today, especially in relation to the Body of Christ.

(Read HERE the rest of this article.)

28 septembrie – Comemorare Ferenc Visky la Oradea

Platforma și editura Casa Cărții te invită la un eveniment comemorativ Ferenc Visky și lansarea cărții Prizonierii speranței, editor Francisc Visky. 

Ferenc Visky (1918-2005), preot reformat din mișcarea betanistă, a fost arestat de regim și condamnat la 22 de închisoare (a stat închis însă între 1958-1964). La scurtă vreme după arestarea lui, soția Julia și cei 7 copii (cu vârste între 12 și 2 ani) sunt deportați în Bărăgan și abandonați în câmp. În închisoare, Visky Ferenc se împrietenește cu Richard Wurmbrand și cu alți deținuți de diferite naționalități și confesiuni. După grațiere, a fost repartizat în parohia din Paleu, lângă Oradea, ca să fie mai ușor de supravegheat de către autorități. Își continuă însă întâlnirile și activitățile subversive, iar în 1983 va fi obligat să se pensioneze. Născut la Agriș (județul SM), decedează în 2005 la Oradea.

La eveniment vor participa doi dintre băieții lui Ferenc: Francisc și András. Francisc, cel mai mare dintre copiii familiei Visky, avea 12 ani când au fost deportați în Bărăgan și tot atunci construiește primul său aparat de radio. Va rămâne toată viața un pasionat radioamator și colecționar de aparate radio. Este un povestitor talentat și cu simțul umorului. András este dramaturg și director artistic adjunct al Teatrului Maghiar din Cluj Napoca. Predă la Facultatea de Teatru și Televiziune din Cluj și ca profesor invitat în școli precum Yale, University of California, Osaka University sau University of Michigan. Piesele sale au fost jucate pe scene din SUA, Franța Italia, Polonia, Italia, Ungaria, România etc.

Momentul muzical va fi susținut de trupa: Élő Kövek (Pietre Vii).

Intrarea la eveniment este gratuită, dar cu rezervarea locului în sală. Atenție, locurile sunt limitate!

Evenimentul va fi în limba română, cu excepția pieselor muzicale (care vor beneficia de traducere).

A Message from an Imprisoned Chinese House Church Leader

Pastor Wang Yi & his wife

In October, house church pastor Wang Yi (pictured above with his wife) sat down and wrote a “Declaration of Faithful Disobedience,” as he saw the storm clouds of persecution about to close in on him and his church. He instructed his fellow elders to hold the letter and only release it after he had been arrested more than 48 hours.

That moment came on the morning of Sunday December 9th, when officers from China’s Public Security Bureau raided Wang’s Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu. The church leaders were among 100 believers arrested and taken away that morning. Many have not been heard from since. Just before Christmas, a further 60 church members were detained, with some taken into China’s notorious “black jail” system, where people are tortured mercilessly without anyone knowing their whereabouts. Here is Wang Yi’s declaration:

“On the basis of the teachings of the Bible and the mission of the gospel, I respect the authorities God has established in China. For God deposes kings and raises up kings. This is why I submit to the historical and institutional arrangements of God in China.

As a pastor of a Christian church, I have my own understanding and views, based on the Bible, about what righteous order and good government is. At the same time, I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience. But changing social and political institutions is not the mission I have been called to, and it is not the goal for which God has given his people the gospel.

For all hideous realities, unrighteous politics, and arbitrary laws manifest the cross of Jesus Christ, the only means by which every Chinese person must be saved. They also manifest the fact that true hope and a perfect society will never be found in the transformation of any earthly institution or culture but only in our sins being freely forgiven by Christ and in the hope of eternal life.

As a pastor, my firm belief in the gospel, my teaching, and my rebuking of all evil proceeds from Christ’s command in the gospel and from the unfathomable love of that glorious King. Every man’s life is extremely short, and God fervently commands the church to lead and call any man to repentance who is willing to repent. Christ is eager and willing to forgive all who turn from their sins. This is the goal of all the efforts of the church in China—to testify to the world about our Christ, to testify to the Middle Kingdom about the Kingdom of Heaven, to testify to earthly, momentary lives about heavenly, eternal life. This is also the pastoral calling that I have received.

For this reason, I accept and respect the fact that this Communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily. As the Lord’s servant John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.

At the same time, I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws.

But this does not mean that my personal disobedience and the disobedience of the church is in any sense “fighting for rights” or political activism in the form of civil disobedience, because I do not have the intention of changing any institutions or laws of China. As a pastor, the only thing I care about is the disruption of man’s sinful nature by this faithful disobedience and the testimony it bears for the cross of Christ.

As a pastor, my disobedience is one part of the gospel commission. Christ’s great commission requires of us great disobedience. The goal of disobedience is not to change the world but to testify about another world.

For the mission of the church is only to be the church and not to become a part of any secular institution. From a negative perspective, the church must separate itself from the world and keep itself from being institutionalized by the world. From a positive perspective, all acts of the church are attempts to prove to the world the real existence of another world. The Bible teaches us that, in all matters relating to the gospel and human conscience, we must obey God and not men. For this reason, spiritual disobedience and bodily suffering are both ways we testify to another eternal world and to another glorious King.

This is why I am not interested in changing any political or legal institutions in China. I’m not even interested in the question of when the Communist regime’s policies persecuting the church will change. Regardless of which regime I live under now or in the future, as long as the secular government continues to persecute the church, violating human consciences that belong to God alone, I will continue my faithful disobedience. For the entire commission God has given me is to let more Chinese people know through my actions that the hope of humanity and society is only in the redemption of Christ, in the supernatural, gracious sovereignty of God.

If God decides to use the persecution of this Communist regime against the church to help more Chinese people to despair of their futures, to lead them through a wilderness of spiritual disillusionment and through this to make them know Jesus, if through this he continues disciplining and building up his church, then I am joyfully willing to submit to God’s plans, for his plans are always benevolent and good.

Precisely because none of my words and actions are directed toward seeking and hoping for societal and political transformation, I have no fear of any social or political power. For the Bible teaches us that God establishes governmental authorities in order to terrorize evildoers, not to terrorize doers of good. If believers in Jesus do no wrong then they should not be afraid of dark powers. Even though I am often weak, I firmly believe this is the promise of the gospel. It is what I’ve devoted all of my energy to. It is the good news that I am spreading throughout Chinese society.

I also understand that this happens to be the very reason why the Communist regime is filled with fear at a church that is no longer afraid of it.

If I am imprisoned for a long or short period of time, if I can help reduce the authorities’ fear of my faith and of my Savior, I am very joyfully willing to help them in this way. But I know that only when I renounce all the wickedness of this persecution against the church and use peaceful means to disobey, will I truly be able to help the souls of the authorities and law enforcement. I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.

Moreover, I must point out that persecution against the Lord’s church and against all Chinese people who believe in Jesus Christ is the most wicked and the most horrendous evil of Chinese society. This is not only a sin against Christians. It is also a sin against all non-Christians. For the government is brutally and ruthlessly threatening them and hindering them from coming to Jesus. There is no greater wickedness in the world than this.

If this regime is one day overthrown by God, it will be for no other reason than God’s righteous punishment and revenge for this evil. For on earth, there has only ever been a thousand-year church. There has never been a thousand-year government. There is only eternal faith. There is no eternal power.

Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them.

Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.

And so, respectable officers, stop committing evil. This is not for my benefit but rather for yours and your children’s. I plead earnestly with you to stay your hands, for why should you be willing to pay the price of eternal damnation in hell for the sake of a lowly sinner such as I?

Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.”

The Lord’s servant,

Wang Yi

Omul evanghelic. O explorare a comunitatilor protestante romanesti

Dragi prieteni,

Vă anunț, cu un sentiment de mare ușurare, că astăzi, înainte de prânz, „după lupte seculare”, care au durat mai mult de… zece ani, am predat la Polirom textele definitive și am semnat contractul final pentru volumul Omul evanghelic. O explorare a comunităților protestante românești. Este vorba de un volum masiv, de circa 650 de pagini, format mare, ce include texte elaborate de 19 autori, din interiorul și din afara mediului evanghelic.

Volumul va apărea în librării cel mai târziu până la începutul lunii septembrie, iar până la finalul aceleiași luni va fi disponibilă și versiunea ebook.

În viitorul apropiat voi voi începe să comunic, din când în când, mai multe informații despre acest proiect editorial.

Până atunci, pentru cei interesați, iată mai jos cuprinsul volumului.

Omul evanghelic – Cuprins


Procesul comunistilor din Romania – Cateva consideratii preliminare

Marți 8 mai a avut loc la Palatul culturii din Iași lansarea publică a Proiectului „Procesul comuniștilor”, coordonat de Universitatea Petre Andrei (UPA), împreună cu Institutul de Studiere a Ideologiilor și derulat în colaborare cu mai multe instituții:, Academia Română, Institutul de Investigare a Crimelor Comunismului și Memoria Exilului Românesc, Editura Institutului European, Primăria Municipiului Iași etc.

Georgeta Condur

Proiectul este prevăzut a se desfășura pe durata a doi ani și jumătate, având trei componente: cercetare, judiciară și editorială. Evident, este vorba mai degrabă de un „proces moral”, cei mai mulți dintre cei vizați nemaifiind în viață. Cum însă în România (precum și în celelalte țări foste comuniste) nu a avut loc un proces de decomunizare, asemănător celui de denazificare în Germania, după căderea regimului hitlerist, consider că acest demers este unul salutar și absolut necesar, dat fiind că tinerele generații sunt din ce în ce mai ignorante cu privire la trecutul recent. Mai multe detalii despre proiect puteți găsi pe situl web al acesteia. Continue reading “Procesul comunistilor din Romania – Cateva consideratii preliminare”

Urbi et orbi – 1973, Vanju Mare

Danut militar
DanutM, soldat, Vanju Mare, 1973

Urmărind în ziua de Crăciun transmisiunea de la Vatican a mesajului papal urbi et orbi din ziua Crăciunului 2017, care este întotdeauna emoționantă pentru mine (ce să facem, vor spune unii, „un ecumenist va fi întotdeauna un ecumenist!”; la care eu răspund: „amin!”), mi-am adus aminte de un alt Crăciun, de acum exact 44 de ani.

În decembrie 1973 mă aflam într-o unitate militară la Vânju Mare, în Mehedinți, unde făceam armata la termen redus, la intendență, înainte de începerea studiilor universitare economice. Tocmai împlinisem 19 ani. Cele opt luni petrecute acolo au reprezentat una dintre cele mai dificile perioade din viața mea.

Când am ajuns în unitate, purtam deja asupra mea eticheta unui proscris. Pe dosarul meu scria „baptist”, ceea ce, în limbajul militar comunist se traducea prin „sectant”, „retrograd”, „dușman al patriei”, și altele asemenea. Am fost preluat imediat sub observație de ofițerul de contrainformații, securistul unității militare, care a recrutat imediat câțiva informatori dintre colegii mei (delațiunile lor aveam să le găsesc mulți ani mai târziu, în primul meu dosar de urmărire de la Securitate – au fost în total patru la număr, și care acum se află transcris în întregime pe acest blog – dacă vă interesează, găsiți aceste documente, însoțite de comentarii, dând o căutare după expresia „File I-1065”). Au urmat interogatorii umilitoare, batjocuri („nu avem nevoie de savanți pocăiți în țara noastră”, amenințări („nu vei termina niciodată facultatea”, și multe asemenea. Continue reading “Urbi et orbi – 1973, Vanju Mare”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide – A Prayer Diary for Cuba


“God gives us strength based on our faith. We are fighting for freedom. Our Lord said the truth will set you free and we are fighting for this ideal.” Berta Soler is a human rights activist and the leader of the Ladies in White group. Berta exemplifies the courage and perseverance of Cuba’s human rights activists, church leaders and hundreds of others who face daily harassment just because of what they believe.


Fếlix Llerena López is a young religious freedom defender who was arrested three months after an advocacy visit to Washington, DC with CSW. He wasn’t permitted to travel and had even been expelled from university. However, the charges against him have now been dropped: praise God for this good news. Continue reading “Christian Solidarity Worldwide – A Prayer Diary for Cuba”

North Korea – A Communist Human Rights Hell


(Source, Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Premiu al Uniunii Scriitorilor pentru romanul Sarbatoarea corturilor

Un premiu pe deplin meritat.

Felicitari domnului Ioan T Morar!

William Yoder – Healthy Debate is Needed. A conversation on the Baptists of Georgia


Despite controversies, Elimar Brandt of Berlin, a Baptist pastor and long-time director of Christian health-care facilities, see reasons for hope within the Baptist church of Georgia. After five years of post-graduate studies in Oxford/UK, its long-time head, Dr. Malkhaz Songulashvili, returned to Georgia in April 2014. Yet soon he was no longer archbishop: that position is now held by a more conservative colleague, Merab Gaprindshvili.

Even prior to the return from England, a grouping calling itself the „Evangelical Baptist Association of Georgia“ had broken off from the mother „Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia“ (EBCG) in October 2013. The Association has roughly 30 congregations and 800 members; the EBCG according to some reckonings may have as few as 2.000 adult members.

„I don’t notice any front between Merab and the other three bishops,“ Pastor Brandt maintains. (Brandt has visited Georgia frequently in the course of the past two decades.) “Merab was and remains a pupil of Malkhaz, who always has been a strong influence on him and Bishop Ilja (Osephashvili). It’s a kind of father-son dispute. I find it very laudable that the (stay-home) bishops did not attempt to resolve everything in Malkhaz’ absence. All sides are attempting to find a way back to each other – that’s my reason for being optimistic. The experiences they have gathered during the course of the controversy have been very challenging and formative.” Continue reading “William Yoder – Healthy Debate is Needed. A conversation on the Baptists of Georgia”

Yeonmi Park – Escaping from North Korea in Search of Freedom

Doi prieteni vechi se întîlnesc după aproape 20 de ani la Oradea : Vasile Ernu

Source: Doi prieteni vechi se întîlnesc după aproape 20 de ani la Oradea : Vasile Ernu

Vasile Ernu, despre vremuri de mult apuse – acum vreo 25 de ani, u ocazia lansarii Marginalilor la Oradea.

‘Like a jail without bars’: what it’s like working in China with women refugees from North Korea

Hwa-Young* works in China with women who fled North Korea or were abducted by people traffickers and taken across the border. Many of the women are tempted to leave behind a miserable life when they are told there are jobs waiting for them in China. But often they are sold on to brothels or into marriages with poor Chinese Korean men.

Source: ‘Like a jail without bars’: what it’s like working in China with women refugees from North Korea

Please rememer this in your prayers.

Ioan T Morar la Areopagus in Timisoara, cu Sarbatoarea Corturilor


Credință, securitate și corturi | Steaua

Source: Credință, securitate și corturi | Steaua

Iata aici o noua cronica a romanului Sarbatoarea corturilor a lui Ioan T Morar, scrisa de Victor Cublesan pentru revista clujeana Steaua.
Sincer sa fiu, cronica nu ma convinge, in ciuda aerului ei doct, profesional.

Criticul se raporteaza la obiectul sau de studiu precum proful de biologie are face disectii pe broasca in laborator (nu sunt foarte sigur daca in acest caz broasca este romanul sau autorul insusi).

Este evident ca domnul Cublesan nu rezoneaaza nici cu subiectul romanului, nici cu contextul in care se desfasoara actiunea lui. Rezultatul este un text arid, si cam sictirit. Din el aflam insa, dincolo de orice putinta de tagada, ca daca criticul nostru ar fi scris romanului cu pricina, rezultatul ar fi fost unul net superior. Ceea ce dovedeste ca cei care sunt in stare sa faca ceva, o fac; in vreme ce ceilalti ii invata pe altii cum sa faca (ceea ce ei insisi n-au putut face vreodata).

Honouring Cuban Dissident Armando Valladares on the Day of Fidel’s End

Armando Valladares

Another old communist devil, comrade Fidel, died today. Cuba, and the world, will be better off without him.

(By the way, I am still waiting, and hoping, that another old devil, comrade Mugabe, will also finally appear before the judgement throne of God, for his many crimes. The sooner, the better, for the sake of the embattled and hungry the people of Zimbabwe, and the good of the world as a whole.)

But today I refuse to talk about old devils. I prefer to rather share with you a few words in honour of one who dared to stand, at a high cost, against the devilish communist ideology in Cuba, the Catholic poet, diplomat, human rights activist, and public intellectual, Armando Valladares.

I remember of praying for him in the early nineteen eighties, after reading about his harsh imprisonment in Sergiu Grossu’s monthly magazine Catacombes, which the Romanian author edited in Paris, France.

Here are a few details about his life and work (source, HERE).

As you read about him, I invite you to say a prayer for freedom and dignity in Cuba.

May the Lord hear our prayers!

* * *

Armando Valladares Perez (born May 30, 1937) is a Cuban poet, diplomat, and human rights activist. In 1960, he was arrested by the Cuban government for protesting communism,[1] leading Amnesty International to name him a prisoner of conscience. Following his release in 1982, he wrote a book detailing his imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Cuban government [Against All Hope: The Prison Memoirs of Armando Valladares], and was appointed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Continue reading “Honouring Cuban Dissident Armando Valladares on the Day of Fidel’s End”

„Treziţii“ – Fundatia Romania Literara

Source: „Treziţii“ – Fundatia Romania Literara

O cronica exceptionala a domnului Daniel Cristea-Enache, la cartea lui Ioan T Morar, Sarbatoarea corturilor.

Apocalipse autoprovocate – SuplimentulDeCultura.Ro

Source: Apocalipse autoprovocate – SuplimentulDeCultura.Ro

Textul lui Marius Mihet estee unul dintre cele mai intereante care s-au scris pina acum despre ultima carte a lui Ioan T Morar.

De citit neaparat.

Căl(c)ătorul în ale credinței: un itinerar – Coram Deo

Nu doar în navigație se face periplu. Nu doar marinarii acostează – după o alchimie doar de ei știută – de la un port la altul. Și căutătorii în ale credinței fac la fel. Sufletul omului însetează mereu și se […]

Source: Căl(c)ătorul în ale credinței: un itinerar – Coram Deo

I noua cronica, de culoare evident evanghelica, la ultima cartea a lui Ioan T Morar.

Viața Românească 7/2016 – Migrații identitare

Source: Viața Românească 7/2016 – Migrații identitare

Iata o noua cronica a romanului Sarbatoarea corturilor, una dezamagitoare de aceasta data, dupa parerea mea. Si nu pentru ca este una critica, ci pentru ca autorul ei in mod evident nu stie nimic despre contextul social si religios al actiunii, si atunci o face pe desteptul, asa cum fac toti ignorantii. Desigur, o fac aparent doct, doar e literat. Vorba ceea, ‘noblesse oblige’.

INTERVIU Ioan T. Morar, scriitor: „Scrisul e ca o căsnicie: ştii totul despre celălalt, dar abia aştepţi să te surprindă“ |

Scriitorul Ioan T. Morar vorbeşte pentru „Weekend Adevărul“ despre „Sărbătoarea Corturilor“, cea mai recentă carte a lui, dar şi despre alte proiecte ale sale. Morar a fost Consul General al României la Marsilia, după care s-a stabilit în Franţa.

Source: INTERVIU Ioan T. Morar, scriitor: „Scrisul e ca o căsnicie: ştii totul despre celălalt, dar abia aştepţi să te surprindă“ |

Va impartasesc tirziu acest interviu despre ultima carte a lui Ioan T Morar, din pricina calatoriilor, dar mai bine mai tirziu decit niciodata.

Împotriva comodităţii – Fundatia Romania Literara

Source: Împotriva comodităţii – Fundatia Romania Literara

Iata o noua cronica a romanului lui Ioan T Morar, Sarbatoarea corturilor, scrisa de Marius Mihet, pentru Romania literara.

Cristina Cheveresan – Recenzie: Ioan T Morar, Sarbatoarea corturilor – Orizont, iunie 2016

Recenzie IT Morar, Sarbatoarea corturilor - Orizont, unie2016

Ioan T Morar, Sarbatoarea corturilor – Primele impresii


Acum vreo saptamina, dupa ce am terminat lectura romanului Sarbatoarea corturilor, i-am transmis autorului urmatoarele prime impresii, pe care vi le impartasesc acum si dvs.

* * *

Dragul meu prieten,

Am reusit, in sfirsit, sa termin de citit cartea (mult mai tirziu decit am planuit, din pricina unor urgente).

Asa cum mi se intimpla intotdeauna dupa lectura unei carti mari, ma simt putin anesteziat de multiudinea de simtaminte si ginduri care ma navalesc. Imi va lua ceva vreme sa ma dezmeticesc. De aceea probabil nu ma voi apuca imediat sa scriu despre ea. Trebuie sa las sa treaca macar citeva zile, ca sa ma limpezesc putin. Continue reading “Ioan T Morar, Sarbatoarea corturilor – Primele impresii”

Bihoreanul – Lansare sarbatoarea corturilor la Oradea

Source: eBihoreanul Mobile | Stiri pe mobil

Iata un nou articol despre lansarea de la Oradea a cartii lui Ioan T Morar, Sarbatoarea corturilor.