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The voice of the martyrs 

I Am N is a disturbing read, sharing the stories of Christians living out their faith in the face of Islamic extremism

voice of the martyrsI am N
The voice of the martyrs
Published by David C Cook
ISBN 978-1-4347-0997-5
Reviewed by Martin Poole

While the church in the West bemoans its marginalisation and the “persecution” of not being allowed to wear a cross or being under the constant pressure of political correctness, this book presents to us real and often blood soaked oppression.
 
No less than 43 true stories of Christians suffering at the hands of Islamic extremists are grouped together, most telling a tale that ranges from severe beatings to cold bloodied killings. These true life accounts are culled from the main Islamic nations that span North Africa and the Middle East.
 
Tellingly Naasir, a young married Egyptian man and committed evangelist explains “our theology is the theology of pain – we don’t know the theology of prosperity, but we know Jesus” Ahkom who was shot three times in the face and once in the stomach but miraculously survived is clear that “persecution is part of our faith - Jesus was persecuted and he told us in the world we would suffer…”
 
Alongside the accounts of brutal punishments are to be found inspiring biographies of Islamic persecutors coming to faith, fulfilling the early church father, Tertullian’s, observation that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”. Also the theme of forgiveness is very prominent exemplified by a Somalian who saw his own wife and son killed by one assassin’s bullet, but who forgave his attacker. “Loving and forgiving your enemies is good”
 
The notation “n” is painted on homes or churches by ISIS militants and designates the occupants as “Nazarenes” – people who follow Jesus. Following this labelling the choice is stark - convert to Islam or leave under the threat of death. The compilers of these horrifying true stories invite the reader to consider whether they are an “n” and are challenged to a deeper commitment to Christ as well as praying fervently for those who suffer in such fearful situations.
 
The book is a very disturbing read with the limp cover to its pages serving almost as a testimony to the tears shed by those facing such cruel persecution and possibly also by those who read it.

 

The Revd Martin Poole (retired Baptist Minister having served churches in Penarth, Godalming and Eastleigh)


Baptist Times, 05/08/2016
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