How a diminutive young woman defied one of the world’s most brutal dictators.
Virginia Prodan writes an amazing, unforgettable book of her life in communist Romania. The story is full of suspense. If it weren’t true, the reader would think it a very good work of fiction.
Ms. Prodan grew up during the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. As a child, she writes, she had a love for truth and wanted to become a lawyer. Against the odds, she succeeded. The story of her childhood is itself an incredible story of struggle against adversity.
But then, after realizing her dream of becoming an attorney, her life changed: she became a Christian.
As she writes in the dedication to her book, “I should be dead. Buried under an unmarked grave in Romania. Obviously, I am not. God had other plans.”
The book describes her time in Romania practicing law. Those who grew up during the Cold War era know about the depravities of communism, secondhand. In reading Ms. Prodan’s book, we learn about how Romanians endured it, firsthand.
The author tells her story as it is happening. When she takes her entrance exams for law school, she doesn’t know whether she will pass or not—and neither do we. The reader is with her every step of the way.
So is God. What comes through with unfailing clarity is her complete reliance on God’s grace and protection.
While the state persecuted the church, Virginia defended it. The communists, confident in their power, were sloppy. They didn’t erase old laws. Christianity was not against the law just Ceausescu’s desires. It was in this narrow space between the legal and Ceausescu‘s extra-legal decrees that Virginia fought with the legal system.
And won. Again and again. In the process, she became a thorn in Ceausescu’s side.
The dictator himself sends an assassin to kill her. Instead of succumbing to her fear, she is inspired to witness to him; to tell him the love God has for even an assassin such as he.
He holsters his drawn pistol and leaves.
This is an inspirational story. Buoyed—one might say propelled—by her faith, she moved mountains. She risked brutal interrogations and “disappearance.” Throughout, she is guided by her Christian faith.
This is also a cautionary tale. We see in America the same hostility toward Christians that she experienced in communist Romania. In both countries, for example, she defended congregations against zoning ordinances designed to close their places of worship.
The book is a memoir of her time in Romania—but it is not the end of her story. Today, Ms. Prodan is still an attorney. She is an International Human Rights Attorney and an Allied Attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom.
We are blessed to have Virginia Prodan’s book. We also have Virginia Prodan herself.
Saving my Assassin: Virginia Prodan, Tyndale Press, 2016.