Voice of the Martyrs

Voice of the Martyrs USA

Home  >  Missionary Organizations  >  Voice of the Martyrs

Voice of the Martyrs

Voice of the MartyrsVoice of the Martyrs was founded by Richard Wurmbrand (photo) in 1967. A Romanian Jew who became a Christian and a pastor, Richard Wurmbrand endured 14 years of horrific torture for his faith by the Romanian communists and was supposed to die in prison, until one of his secret police interrogators became converted to Christ after witnessing God's love and power in his torture victim and arranged for him to be released.

In 1964, Norwegian Christians ransomed Wurmbrand, his wife Sabina and son Michael (Mihai) out to Norway. Two years later, they arrived in USA and founded Voice of the Martyrs to advocate for, support, and equip persecuted Christians around the world.

Strength

Voice of the Martyrs organizations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea and USA continue to leverage Richard Wurmbrand's legacy to collect substantial amount of money from Christians. In 2019, Voice of the Martyrs USA alone took in over $57 million.

Weaknesses

1.  Voice of the Martyrs USA has been taken over by hirelings and wolves.

Richard Wurmbrand retired in 1992 and died in 2001 at 91 years of age. His successor Tom White was a pedophile who committed suicide in 2012 at the Voice of the Martyrs compound in Bartlesville, Oklahoma when the police was about to arrest him for having sexually abused a 10-year-old girl.

Since pedophiles rarely abuse just one child, Michael Wurmbrand, who had been serving Voice of the Martyrs from California, called for an independent investigation to assure that Tom White hadn't abused any other child during his frequent trips to Voice of the Martyrs' facilities, including orphanages, abroad.

In response, Voice of the Martyrs terminated Michael Wurmbrand, who had co-founded Voice of the Martyrs with his parents, and offered him money to keep quiet. Michael Wurmbrand rejected the money and instead published an open letter that repeats his call for an independent investigation, sheds light on Voice of Martyrs' other scandals, and asks donors to stop giving money to it (read his letter).

As of 2021, Voice of the Martyrs USA continues to be led by Harvey Little, its chairman and the former mayor of Bartlesville (pop. 35,000), whose second largest employer is Voice of the Martyrs USA. Little has neither ministry experience nor missionary experience nor Christian education, and cares deeply about his small town's economy and jobs.

2.  Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) turned a blind eye to child rape and murder.

For many years, Isaac Oluwole Newton-Wusu, the head of Voice of the Christian Martyrs (VOCM) Nigeria, had been raping and impregnating orphan girls at the VOM-financed Stephens Children Home in Abeokuta and then forcing them to kill their babies via abortions. Despite repeatedly being informed of these and other crimes by Isaac Oluwole Newton-Wusu, VOM continued to finance VOCM Nigeria. When confronted by a determined American church (watch their video) in 2016, VOM neither reported Isaac Oluwole Newton-Wusu to the Nigerian police nor took measures to protect his alleged victims or the other girls at the VOM-financed orphanage. Instead, VOM handed over $100,000 worth of land, buildings and vehicles to quietly and quickly sever ties with VOCM (click here).

3.  Voice of the Martyrs diverts the donations collected for persecuted Christians.

Voice of the Martyrs covers its brochures with photos and stories of persecuted Christians and solicits donations on their behalf. One such group of persecuted Christians were about 100 Romanian Christians who had been imprisoned for 5 to 10 years for their faith by the Romanian Communists and were destitute in their 80s and 90s in 2001. Just after Richard Wurmbrand died in February of that year, Voice of the Martyrs decided to "support" these persecuted Christians by giving them less than $1 per month, just to be able to say that Voice of the Martyrs supports persecuted Christians in Romania (For how Michael Wurmbrand, then the director of a correspondence school in California, reacted to this decision, click here).

Then on what is Voice of the Martyrs spending the donations that it collects for persecuted Christians? The modest white warehouse below is the former headquarters of Voice of the Martyrs USA in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Voice of the Martyrs Old Headquarters

Below is Voice of the Martyrs USA's new headquarters, still in Bartlesville, custom-built with $28 million of the donations collected for persecuted Christians around the world. God's money for the most persecuted members of Christ's body was used by those who collected it, led by the former mayor of Bartlesville, to build a gleaming $28,000,000 office building for themselves in Bartlesville, USA.

Voice of the Martyrs Headquarters

4.  Voice of the Martyrs' fundraisers take a cut of the donations.

Michael Wurmbrand states that Voice of the Martyrs incentivizes its fundraisers by letting them keep, without disclosure, a percentage of the money they raise from donors. God executed Ananias and Sapphira for keeping back a portion of their own money (Acts 5). What awaits those who keep back a portion of others' money given to God?

5.  Voice of the Martyrs' leaders pay themselves exorbitant salaries.

Voice of the Martyrs closely guards the salaries of its leaders. In 2013, however, the salary of its then president James Dau was revealed to be $158,416, equivalent to $183,059 in 2021. $183,059 is a fortune in rural Oklahoma, whose governor makes $147,000 a year.

6.  Voice of the Martyrs jeopardizes persecuted Christians to generate revenues.

Voice of the Martyrs' Bibles Unbound program makes China's underground church Christians print Chinese New Testaments inside China and then send them to USA so that American Christians can pay exorbitant fees to Voice of the Martyrs for the privilege of mailing them to other underground Christians in China. China's underground church risks detection and persecution every time one of its members sends or receives Christian materials to/from abroad (see Persecution of Christians in China).

7.  Voice of the Martyrs has veered into ecumenism, away from the true Gospel.

Solutions

1.  Heed Michael Wurmbrand's call for an independent investigator to retrace Tom White's travels during the two years that preceded his suicide, interview every child with whom he was alone, and repeat for preceding years if additional victims are found.

2.  Heed Rachael Denhollander on how to deal with cases of sexual abuse, and provide care for all victims abused by Tom White and Isaac Oluwole Newton-Wusu.

3.  The entire board needs to resign. Michael Wurmbrand needs to be appointed chairman of the board, appoint new board members, investigate and fire all executives who covered up or knew and did nothing about the aforementioned sexual abuses, and replace them with seasoned servant leaders from the frontline who suffered for Jesus and will remain focused on serving those who are suffering for Him today.

4.  Do not allow fundraisers to keep a percentage of the money they raise, or at least require them to disclose it to the donors.

5.  Lower and publish all leaders' salaries.

6.  End Bibles Unbound; have China's underground Christians simply keep the Bibles they print.

7.  Sell the new headquarters building, give the proceeds to those for whom the money was donated, and move back into the modest warehouse.

8.  Renounce ecumenism and return to the true Gospel.