Canada (MNN) — Fourteen years of torture, starvation, and imprisonment – this is what Richard Wurmbrand endured in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. Today, Voice of the Martyrs Canada has brought Wurmbrand’s story to life in a one-man stage show called ‘Solitary Refinement’.
Richard Wurmbrand was the founder of Voice of the Martyrs. The production of ‘Solitary Refinement’ was inspired by the impact of his book, Tortured for Christ.
(article continues after promo video for ‘Solitary Refinement’ below)
VOM Canada’s Doug McKenzie explains, “That book was only written in three days, but it took 14 years to compile during his time of solitary confinement in the prisons of Romania. He was one who even the prison guards couldn’t really understand in terms of his tenacity, his refusal to back away from his faith in Christ. But it was his book that came out in 1967 which then revolutionized the Church.
“It occurred to me that we might be able to, in a sense, recreate by God’s power and spirit what actually happened back in 1967. In other words, maybe there could be another rebirth that would sweep across North America and impact the North American Christian Church.”
It’s been one year since ‘Solitary Refinement’ premiered, and the play is still touring in churches across Canada. Dennis Hassell, an award-winning playwright, takes on the role of Richard Wurmbrand in ‘Solitary Refinement’. The play is directed by triple Dora Award nominee Tom Carson. Between Hassell and Carson, it took four years to bring this production to light.
Ultimately, McKenzie says the story and drama in ‘Solitary Refinement’ is about “portraying a man who so loved God and so loved Christ that he was prepared to suffer all in order to present Christ and to be faithful to him and be pure in his life and to be simply a believer who followed Jesus.”
It is free for churches to bring ‘Solitary Refinement’ to their locations. The production only collects a voluntary offering to cover tour expenses.
If you live in Canada, click here to learn more about inviting ‘Solitary Refinement’ to come to your church!
McKenzie says those who witness the live drama storytelling of Richard Wurmbrand’s suffering and faithfulness to Christ are spiritually challenged and encouraged.
“I can tell you, if you stood for ten minutes in the lobby after one of these performances, you would be in tears along with the people who have just come out of the performance. And I promise you, you would be impacted by God’s Spirit in terms of being challenged and compelled to engage and to do something about it and to become that extra arrow in the quiver that defines the mission of the Church today.”
While the play is still only available in Canada, VOM Canada is in conversation with sister ministries who are interested in touring the stage-show in other countries.
But one thing believers around the world can do is commit to praying with Christians suffering persecution, just as Richard Wurmbrand did.
“There are our publications, with which comes notification of turbulence in the world,” says McKenzie. “For instance, every week we have an electronic distribution of something called the Persecution and Prayer Alert.”