The Persecutor by Sergei Kourdakov
Fleming H. Revell Co (1973)
Read it Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes. Everyone should read it.
What to Expect
Sergei Kourdakov grew up in communist Russia and became a KGB agent in the 1970s. He excelled in his position as passionate youth leader, student, and athlete by day and persecutor by night.
The Persecutor (also known as Forgive Me Natasha) is his story of disillusionment with the communist system and confusion with Believers in the face of death and hatred.
The Persecutor has no shinny turns of phrase or literary warm fuzzies, but it's written directly and honestly. It doesn't pretend to be anything more than the story of one man among thousands who suffered in Russia. Painful, powerful, and beautiful.
Kourdakov was shot only months after the book was finished. This is his true testimony to the world and his petition for forgiveness to the many Believers he persecuted. His prose is full of honor and respect.
I was pathetically ignorant of this period of history, so I am so thankful to have read a memoir of this caliber.
What would I do in this situation? Every once in awhile this question terrifies me. Would I take it with grace? How mushy are we as American Christians? Do we remember that we stand on the blood of thousands and thousands of Believers who have taken death with bravery and grace? Around the world people continue to die because they will not let go of the Cross. Right now...as I type this. Do we remember?