Voice of the Martyrs

Voice of the Martyrs USA

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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 paid a $10,000 ransom to the Romanian communists and flew 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.

Visitor Emails

"Hi, Thank you for your website. I had never heard of the Voice of the Martyrs scandal. I was googling Voice of the Martyrs because I couldn't remember their exact website address and I wanted to make a donation. I have donated to their organization every year for the past few years since I heard of them. I have loved their magazine. I read Michael Wumbrand's letter on your site and then looked at his website. I'm very glad to know about it, and now I will donate to Help for Refugees instead. Then I read some of the other pages on your site. I am so terribly saddened to hear of all these abuses in these organizations, and of the ways they are not preaching the true Gospel. Thank you for telling people about these things, and for standing up for the true Gospel and true Christianity. I plan to read more of your site, including the information about the missionary organizations that remain faithful to the Gospel. I was so blessed to read John Allen Chau's story and the letter he wrote to his family. Thank you and God bless you, Amy"

"I want to thank you for publicly posting this info: https://www.billionbibles.com/voice-of-the-martyrs.html. I almost sent them a sizable gift based on my remembrance of the founder, not knowing the org was totally off the rails. RM"

"Hello, I was searching online for the VOM website when a link to your information came up. A friend who I shared the information with told me that a missionary friend of theirs (formerly in Africa) had cautioned them about VOM during a visit when they saw one of VOM's magazines in my friend's home... said VOM had mischaracterized someone (known to the missionary, from their region) who had been featured in their magazine as "suffering for Christ." Truth is, the opposition the person had encountered was actually the result of their own serious personal wrongdoing. Thank you for your efforts to bring to light the errors, habitual mishandling of resources and hidden abuses which have marred the work in so many organizations. And thank you for providing links to source material in your articles. We live in very troubling times. Our enemy loves to defile our ambassadorship by exploiting the weakness and vulnerabilities of our flesh. When we stumble or fall, as individuals or as a body, we either choose to come clean, or we slap on the fig leaves and hide, shifting the blame when exposed. Genesis 3. Lord gives us the grace to remain humble and open to examination and correction! Sincerely, Constance"

"I recently was told about the many concerns regarding VOM. I read your report. After supporting the mission for the last 10 years, I am grieved to learn of this news. I have a deep passion for the persecuted church, so I am wondering if you would have a recommendation for another missions organization that reaches out to those in living with persecution daily. Thank you. April"