“I thank God because he gave me the force to die free…”
This was the last praise of a woman who died at the hands of atheist torturers in Albania. It is one tragic story among thousands, and one inspiring example for some who are following.
Albania was declared the first atheist nation in 1967 by its Communist rulers. In this tiny nation, Christianity was a minority faith. Catholic clergy was targeted for extinction. Of 135 clergy, 131 were tortured and killed. Over 2,000 Christians were also cruelly executed. Yet Catholic believers still worshiped in secret and kept the knowledge of Christ alive there. This tiny minority was tenacious and the government’s efforts to eradicate it failed.
This article explains how some in Albania have taken direction from those who were martyred for their beliefs, and applied the cost of martyrdom to the debt of reviving a defense for the most vulnerable human lives.
I will venture to say that most pro-life advocates in our western first world lack the orientation that these advocates have. We understand the equation, but we do so from relative comfort. Some speak from the vantage point of their own sad experience, but many speak without personal history and from a theoretical position. In the end, all of us are called to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and every voice is valid.
But the believers in Albania speak for the unborn from a place where advocacy has meant death, and standing firm in your faith has meant martyrdom.They say this:
“Albania is a land of martyrs, and we know that we have hope because they have built before us…We are here today because they gave their life for Christ.”