The value and impact of storytelling can never be underestimated. Stories go beyond relaying facts and data. They allow us to connect in a deep, meaningful way. Here are 10 books that tell powerful stories of ordinary people who suffered extraordinary persecution for what they believe.
Captive In Iran by Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirzadeh
Islamic laws forbid sharing Christian beliefs. Maryam and Marziyeh knew they were risking their lives when they started two house churches and distributed 20,000 New Testaments. In 2009 they were arrested and held 259 days in notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. This is a captivating story about two courageous women willing to die for their faith.
Gloria! The Archbishop’s Wife by Abidemi Sanuse
Gloria Kwashi lives in Jos, Nigeria, in a region that’s known as the Middle Belt. She and her husband, Benjamin Kwashi, the Archbishop of Jos, work in ministry, mediation and peace-building. Gloria’s remarkable story covers a life of challenges including her home burnt down and enduring rape and beatings by men sent to murder her husband. One of the beatings left her blinded, until surgery was able to restore her sight. Amidst the persecution they have adopted some 300 children, most who have suffered unspeakable trauma.
God’s Double Agent, The True Story of a Chinese Christian’s Fight for Freedom by Bob Fu with Nancy French
Bob Fu tells the incredible story of his life, from begging for food, to graduation from college and law school. He attended the Tiananmen Square student uprising as a young college student, protesting the rights of teachers and students. Bob tells what it’s like to live, study, and love in China. He helps us understand sanctioned churches, the house church movement, and what it takes to be openly Christian.
God’s Hostage, A True Story of Persecution, Imprisonment and Perseverance by Andrew Brunson and Craig Borlase (released October 2019)
Andrew Brunson moved his family to Turkey in 1993 to serve as a missionary. Working with refugees from Syria, including Kurds, they experienced threats and attacks. They were arrested in 2016. Norine was soon released, but Andrew was accused of being a spy and spent two years as a political pawn while in prison. Brunson was released in October 2018.
Saving My Assassin by Virginia Prodan
This is the riveting story of Virginia’s life from an unhappy, abusive childhood to fighting for freedom in court rooms of a dictator to persecution, violence against her and house arrest then to freedom with the help of the Reagan administration.
The 21, A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs by Martin Mosebach
In 2015 ISIS militants beheaded twenty-one orange-clad men on a beach in Libya. All but one were Coptic Christian migrant workers from Egypt. Author Martin Mosebach met their families and he shares about the faith and culture that shaped their convictions.
The Last Girl, My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad
Nadia, a member of the Yazidi minority in Iraq, was abducted and enslaved by the Islamic State in 2014, when she was twenty-one years old. Her extraordinary memoir is a testament of her strength in the face of unimaginable adversity, a survivor of rape and captivity. Nadia was one of two recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.
The Shadows of Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi and the Persecution of the Rohingya by Poppy McPherson
Award winning journalist Poppy McPherson lives in Myanmar and has been reporting on the persecution of the Rohingya for several years. This true story of villages burnt to the ground, torture and murder led to the UN declaring the situation to be a genocide.
They Say We Are Infidels, On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in The Middle East by Mindy Belz
Journalist Mindy Belz has been reporting for more than a decade on the ground in the Middle East. In this book she tracks the stories of Christians in Iraq and Syria who refuse to abandon their faith-even in the face of losing everything, including their lives.
Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
Born to a Jewish family in Bucharest, Wurmbrand married in his late 20s and the couple soon converted to Christianity. Ten years later Wurmbrand was arrested for underground ministering. During the next eight years he passed through seven prisons. His wife was also arrested and spent three years in prison. After his release, Wurmbrand was arrested again and sentenced to 25 years. He was granted amnesty after serving five years.
- Read one or more books from this list
- Pray, donate and advocate for those persecuted for their beliefs
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