I knew that I faced questioning, ill-treatment, possibly years of imprisonment and death, and I wondered if my faith was strong enough. I remembered then that in the Bible it is written 366 times—once for every day of the year—"Don't be afraid!": 366 times, not merely 365, to account for Leap Year. And this [the day of my arrest] was February 29—a coincidence which told me I need not fear!
The interrogators showed no hurry to see me, for Communist jails are like archives, to be drawn on at any time when information may be needed. I was questioned again and again over the whole fourteen and a half years I spent in prison. I knew that in the eyes of the Party my connections with the Western Churches were treasonable, but there was much else of importance which they did not know and must not learn from me.
I had prepared myself for prison and torture as a soldier in peacetime prepares for the hardships of war. I had studied the lives of Christians who had faced similar pains and temptations to surrender and thought how I might adapt their experiences. Many who had not so prepared themselves were crushed by suffering, or deluded into saying what they should not.
Priests were always told by interrogators, "As a Christian you must promise to tell us the whole truth about everything." For my part, since I was sure of being found guilty whatever I said, I decided that under torture I might incriminate myself, but never betray friends who had helped me to spread the Gospel. So I planned to leave my interrogators more confused at the end of their investigation that at the start. I would mislead them to the hilt.
My first task was somehow to get a message out to warn my colleagues and let my wife know where I was. I was able to suborn a guard to act as intermediary, for at that time my family still had money. He received about 500 pounds for carrying messages over the next few weeks. Then everything we owned was seized.
Excerpted from In God's Underground, written by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. You can order a copy of the book here; it is also available for Kindle and Nook e-readers.