Interview: Pastor from Behind the Iron Curtain

January 14, 2015 by Janelle P in Stories of Persecution

When Brother Andrew started the ministry of Open Doors in 1955, he had a heart specifically for those behind the Iron Curtain. The USSR had become an extremely difficult place to be a Christian and Christians were losing freedoms more and more as time went by.

Brother Andrew visited several parts of Eastern Europe in the early days of his ministry, up until the Soviet Union collapsed. He befriended several pastors and Christian leaders during this time. One of them was a man named Joseph Bondarenko.

Joseph was a pastor with a heart for the youth. In spite of all the restrictions and threats he faced, he would hold evangelism conferences, leading many people to the Lord.

His actions caused him to be put on the KGB’s most wanted list. And eventually, he was arrested and spent nearly 10 years in prison for his faith.

Through this time, Joseph was used by God to touch many lives, both inside and outside of the prison. He shares his story in-depth in his new book The KGB’s Most Wanted, available at

Joseph and his daughter recently visited with us at the Open Doors office. Take a minute to watch this powerful interview to see not only how God brought Joseph through the extreme persecution he faced, but to see the powerful impact he had on the lives of countless people.