April 21, 2013

Persecuted {A Review}

Maybe you don't hear about it on the nightly news, or read numerous articles in the mainstream media, but it cannot be denied. Somewhere, someone is being persecuted for believing in Jesus, for following Jesus, for belonging to Jesus.

In their new book: Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians, Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea tell of the suffering Christians around the globe are experiencing in their families, communities, and societies for choosing to believe in the Savior.

The Book {in General}
Using a journalistic approach, the book delves into persecution across the world. Through the many personal examples, the authors grapple with trends and patterns of suffering occurring right now. The individual examples are not taken from hundreds of years ago, but are contemporary incidents. Some of the material {events} may be shocking to those who live in cultures where persecution in any form is rare.

The first chapter sets the stage for the following chapters. Marshall, Gilbert, and Shea begin with an overview of what persecution includes and who is being persecuted. The authors clearly present their intent to share a vital truth: "Christians are the single most widely persecuted religions group in the world today." (p. 4) The premise of the book is to show readers where and how Christians are being persecuted today in our modern world.

The bulk of the book is divided into eight categories or themes of persecution. The authors group different countries and societies by type of persecution not necessarily by geographical location. Several chapters are entitled "Caesar and God: The Remaining Communist Powers," "The Muslim World: Policies of Persecution," and "Cruel and Usual Abuse."

Finally, a chapter summarizes the persecution trends and propels readers forward to action. Do something the authors plead. Prayers, practical assistance, and political action are three 'somethings' fellow Christian can do.

My Thoughts
My home is in the United States. I live in a society where we are aware of persecutions but aren't faced with immediate personal threats. Today, I went with my family to church where we worshiped, prayed, and learned from God's Word openly without once worrying about governmental or societal repression. I have always been aware of Christian persecution, but never have I read about so many contemporary people being persecuted in one book. Some sections were especially difficult to read. Imprisonment, death, or torture of fellow Christians is never easy to read, and therefore, I would urge readers to use discretion when sharing the book, or its contents, with younger readers.

Though the Bible tells us we, as Christians, will suffer (I Peter 4:12-13), not everyone faces the same suffering and persecution. It is important to know what fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are experiencing around the world. Knowledge often leads to action, and this could be the greatest impact Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians may have for readers in the present day church.

I highly recommend this book. It is one I will keep to slowly work through again over time. It will serve as a reference, a prayer guide, and starting point for further studies for me.
~ Dorie

Fine Print: I received this book from the publisher through the BookSneeze program in exchange for a review.

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