Before the breakup of the Soviet Union, Christians were routinely persecuted for their faith by the Communist regime.
There are many inspiring stories of courageous Christians behind the Iron Curtain who were willing to die for their faith during this difficult period in world history.
One such story involves a house church in a city in the former Soviet Union.
The small group of believers who gathered there were afraid to carry Bibles, so they memorized large sections of the New Testament and recited Scripture to each other.
Each week they would arrive at the house at different times, to avoid arousing the suspicions of KGB informers.
On one particular Sunday the church members were all safely inside the building, with the windows closed and doors locked.
They began the service by softly singing a hymn and praying.
Suddenly, the door burst open and two soldiers armed with automatic weapons walked in.
One shouted, “All right, everybody up against the wall. If you wish to renounce your faith in Jesus Christ, you can leave now and no harm will come to you.”
Two or three church members left, then another.
“This is your last chance!” the other soldier warned. "Either turn your back on this Jesus of yours or stay and suffer the consequences!
Another member left.
Two more covered their faces in shame and slipped out into the night.
No one else moved.
Parents with small children trembling beside them looked down reassuringly.
They fully expected to be gunned down on the spot?or, at the very least, imprisoned.
After a few moments of silence, the soldiers closed the door and looked back at the church members left standing against the wall.
One of them said, “Keep your hands up -- but this time in praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers and sisters.
We, too, are Christians. We were sent to another house church several weeks ago to arrest a group of believers. But instead, we were converted.”
The other soldier added, “We are sorry to have frightened those who left, but we have learned that unless people are willing to die for their faith, they cannot fully be trusted.”
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Rich Young on Jan 18, 2001
THE AUTHOR WILL MAKE THINGS CLEAR Author Marshall Shelley, who suffered the deaths of two of his children, writes in Leadership: "Even as I child, I loved to read, and I quickly learned that I would most likely be confused during the opening chapters of a novel. New characters were ...read more
Contributed by George Rennau on Feb 19, 2001
A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26, 1997. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmist practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a ...read more
Contributed by Ronald Zamkus on Feb 24, 2001
During the 1970’s when the San Diego Chargers had Dan Fouts as quarterback, in 1 particular game, both Fouts and the team were having a bad day. With 2 minutes remaining in the game, San Diego was down 14-0. Frustrations were high so the coach pulled the star Fouts and put in the backup ...read more
Contributed by Steve Malone on Nov 13, 2001
On Sept 16, 1620 2 ships set sail from Plymouth Englnad, The Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell encountered much difficulty as they began their journey springing many leaks in the ship. So when the 2 ships went to Port in Plymouth England, the Speedwell decided to go no further and 42 ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Jan 20, 2002
Faith is unutterable trust in God, trust which never dreams that He will not stand by ...read more