In his book Surviving Hell: A P.O.W.’s Journey, Leo Thorsness tells of the courage it took to worship in the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison in Vietnam. Thorsness tells of a memorable service after the prisoners were rounded up in response to a failed rescue attempt. The senior ranking officer in one cell stood up one Sunday and said, “Let’s have church service.” The men agreed. The guard came in and forbade them from having a service. The men discussed the problem and said they were all committed to having a service the following Sunday no matter what. That Sunday, Ned Schuman stood to open the service, and the guards came in and took him off to be tortured. After that, the second-highest ranking officer said, “Gentlemen, the Lord’s Prayer.” While praying, about halfway through, he was sent to be tortured. At that, the third in command stood and said, “Gentlemen, the Lord’s Prayer.” The guards took him out for torture. Number four stood up and said, “Gentlemen, the Lord’s Prayer.” At this the guards not only carried away the officer but began hitting the soldiers with the butts of their guns, shouting for them to stop. Number five took his time getting to the center of the room; and before he could speak, the soldiers took him out. The guards locked the door behind them, and number six got up. “Gentlemen, the Lord’s Prayer,” he said. Thorsness says that this time they finished it. He went on to say that even though five men were tortured, they all thought it worth it.
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