The war paralyzed our missionary activity in nearly the whole of Spain, because of the absence of many workers, national and foreign. Our chapels were closed, and only in one place could services be continued, because this was an isolated locality. During the time of the conflict our brethren gathered in their homes to read together the Lord's promises for such difficult times. The few remaining workers encouraged these small groups, and so the flame of our faith was maintained.
After the war there was an attempt to reorganize the activities of the church. Three times permission was requested to open our chapels, but this privilege was refused. Then we saw in our small groups of secret Sabbath schools the means to keep alive our work. The companies were multiplied all over the nation, but they moved about constantly from place to place to avoid discovery, and to escape the constant threat of exposure. Many times workers and members were threatened with death. Several of them had lost all they possessed, but not their faith.
This silent yet faithful activity, through our small Sabbath schools, permitted the holy fire to blaze up again, and to revive discouraged hearts. Thus were added groups of precious souls, who in the midst of adversity chose to serve the Lord amid rebuffs and privations. Baptisms were held privately, some in homes and some in isolated rivers in distant mountains. While the ceremony was held a faithful lookout watched.
Due to the shortage of workers, several churches were left to themselves. Only four major places could be shepherded, but excellent results followed. Today we see fulfilled the words of God's messenger, who told us that that which was not done in time of liberty would be done in time of great difficulty.
Since 1945 we have been granted a certain tolerance which permitted us to open our chapels, and today they are proving to be too small. Our missionary campaigns, such as Ingathering and Big Week, are prohibited. Canvassing is done discreetly with health books written by authors outside the denomination, for we cannot receive a permit to publish our books or to sell them. The sale of non-Catholic Bibles is forbidden.
Public evangelism cannot be carried on, for all lectures or active promotion that would attract persons who are not already church members is prohibited. We are not permitted to speak of our faith outside our own church. Our work of evangelizing is done prudently on the basis of personal activity by visits to each person whose name is known to us through friends or brethren.
Our colporteurs and members, similar to the Waldenses who left their mountain refuge to educate themselves, cautiously sowing the seed of the gospel, also spread the good news of salvation to every soul susceptible to receiving it. They brought such persons in contact with those of our workers who are gifted in personal work. In this manner better and more abundant fruitage has been obtained than at any previous time in our work.
Our services are being held without disturbances, but our young people's meetings on Sunday are undergoing difficulty, for there have been threats that they would be suppressed. Jail sentences and fines were suffered by some when such meetings were held. Our mission office is conducted as a private bookstore which exhibits only non-Adventist books.
To summarize, our church is tolerated, but it does not enjoy any liberty whatsoever that would permit us to extend our faith. Our literature comes to us with great difficulty, and our Sabbath School Quarterlies are confiscated upon arrival, if they are noticed.
Christians were never passive individuals. This is especially true at this time, when the end draws near and millions of souls are longing for the living water and the Christian life. How anxiously they seek the precious truth !
In spite of these difficulties our chapels are overflowing and the church of God grows and advances with no uncertain steps, for "whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4.