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Helmuth James Graf von Moltke (1945) - Only Obeying God’s Orders

Helmuth James Graf von Moltke (1945) - Only Obeying God’s Orders


It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. Psalm 118:8-9

Helmuth lived during the Nazi period in Germany – a regime he opposed because of his Christian beliefs. He was from one of the aristocratic families of Imperial Germany and became an international lawyer. Helmuth was part of an anti-Nazi group and believed that Christianity was the only basis for a renewed Germany and Europe. While others who resisted Hitler used violence, Helmuth relied on the power of faith, intellect and morality, using his position as an officer in the German military intelligence service to spread word of the appalling atrocities the Nazis were committing.

In January 1944 he was arrested by the Gestapo, and put on trial a year later. He was condemned and executed, aged 37. Shortly before he was hanged in Plötzensee prison, Helmuth explained why his strictly moral and intellectual rebellion represented such a threat to Hitler: “What the Third Reich is so terrified of is ultimately a private individual [who has] discussed the practical, ethical demands of Christianity: for that alone we are condemned.”

We pray to you, O Lord, who are the supreme Truth, and all truth is from you. We beseech you, O Lord, who are the highest Wisdom, and all the wise depend on you for their wisdom. You are the supreme joy, and all who are happy owe it to you. You are the light of minds, and all receive their understanding from you. We love you above all. We seek you, we follow you, and we are ready to serve you. We desire to dwell under your power for you are the King of all. Amen.

King Alfred the Great (849-99)


Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.


Helmuth James Graf von Moltke (1945) - Only Obeying God’s Orders

Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing


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Manihera and Kereopa (1846) - Reaching Rivals