Julio Moraleja ran from the cops when he was a communist in post-WW2 fascist Spain, so running an illegal underground church when he converted to Christ was no big deal.
“I just ran really fast,” says Julio, who became a Christian during the repressive, anti-Protestant government of Francisco Franco. “We hid from the police. They never caught us.”
In Spain, Franco infamously stamped out evangelical churches, suppressed freedoms and tried to drive born-again Christians out of the country.
But the crackdowns on house churches, the raids and the secret police did not intimidate Julio, who was accustomed to subversive activities as a communist factory worker trying to overthrow the capitalist dictatorship.
Julio Moraleja Arias (Spaniards use both the last name of Dad and that of Mom), now 67, was raised in a family who believed in atheistic communism.
“For me, the world needed a social change that only could be carried out through the communist philosophy,” Julio says.
His father, who fought in the Spanish Civil War with the Communist Youth, was arrested and the usual death sentence routinely given to communists was commuted to life imprisonment. He served 11 years in jail before his release.
In spite of Franco’s crackdown on communists, Julio became a card-carrying communist. He got work in the Chrysler automobile factory and began to agitate to form a labor union and propagate communist ideals.
A friend, José Aguilar, who was Christian, began to explain to him another way to save the world: Jesus.
“Logically, I didn’t pay any attention to him because I didn’t believe in God, since communism is based on scientific atheism,” Julio says.
But he received a cassette tape from Julio, partly to humor the man.
The following Saturday he had nothing else to do, so he played it out of curiosity.
“As I listened to the tape, something began to move in me and I didn’t know what was happening,” Julio remembers. “The message pierced my soul. When I finished listening, I was broken.” Read the rest of running from the cops.