The Pirate from the House of Prayer

Aida Skripnikova.


Soviet Union.


A young woman stood on a street corner and handed out cards with poems. Some accepted the card because they wanted to see what it said, some because she was so beautiful, some maybe because of the joy and love that radiated from her when she handed out the cards. Each card had a poem written by her. Each poem spoke of the love and joy he has experienced because of her Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

She was arrested for this and put on trial. She bravely testified in court. “The society you communists are trying to build can never be just because you yourselves are unjust.” She was sentenced to one year in prison.

After her release, she immediately continued working in the underground church. The communist newspaper “Izvestija” called her a pirate of the prayer house because of her beauty, courage and devotion.

Aida dared to write that “You atheists can come together whenever you want and do what you like, whether it’s chatting, reading or singing. So why can’t we visit each other? Why does the law forbid it? Why can’t we read the Bible or pray when we want? We can only talk about God in church. You would certainly not be happy if you had to talk about the theater only in the theater house and books only in the library. In this way, we too cannot be silent about the meaning of our life – Jesus Christ.” She was re-arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison, but she stood her ground.

When she was 27 and preparing to serve her fourth prison sentence, it was clear that prison would only increase her love for God’s Word and its importance to her faith. “If it were the other way around, for example, we had enough Bibles and there were none in England, then I would be willing to be the first to go and take the Bible there… The most difficult thing was to manage without a Bible in prison.”

Once the Gospel of Mark was secretly brought to her. “The guards found out that I had the gospel, raised the alarm and searched the camp. During the second search, they found it. I was punished for this and had to spend ten days in a cold solitary cell. Two weeks later I received the entire New Testament and was able to keep it until I was released.

There were frequent searches in the prison, but God helped me every time. I always knew when the searches were coming and I was able to hide the valuable book. Many other prisoners helped me hide the book, even though they themselves were not Christians.”

The guards did other things to intimidate her and make her deny her faith, but the result was often the opposite. “Once the guards showed me a package of food and told me that there were chocolates and other good things in there. I didn’t get it, but knowing that I had friends who cared about me gave me strength. This knowledge was more important than food. Another time I heard that ten packages had arrived from Norway, but I didn’t receive any of them… I was happy to experience a spiritual connection with Christians all over the world. It gave us strength in prison. I want to thank all the Christians who worried about us or prayed for us.”

When Aida was freed for the fourth time, she had changed beyond recognition. Hermovie star looks were gone, and at thirty she looked sixty. Years in prison had worn her down. But one thing had remained unchanged – her smile. It still exuded love and joy in knowing its Redeemer.

During her last imprisonment, Aida wrote that “suddenly I understood the Biblical text ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ (Mt 11:30) These are the words of Jesus, and after three years of imprisonment I realized how true they are.”

Excerpt from the book. Jeesus-friigid Neist, kes kannatasid Jeesuse pärast – täielikest Jeesus-friikidest – DC Talk – Antikvariaat