**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.
When I was a teenager, my preacher shared a story one Sunday about two gunned men who entered a church. They went on to tell everyone worshiping there that night that they could deny God and leave to safety...or be killed for their faith. Many walked out, while still many stayed. The gunmen proceeded to take their own seats among the worshipers and declared they wanted only to worship with those true believers, willing to sacrifice themselves rather than denying God for their own safety.
It was a rather interesting story and one that I found has stuck with me throughout the years. I couldn't help but ask myself the question- would I have the faith to stand up for my faith, even if doing so meant laying down my life? I like to believe so...but the reality is that for most of us, this is a scenario we cannot imagine being put in. Here in America, we are typically pretty safe to practice our religions as we see fit. This idea of being killed for our faith sounds like something out of a Hollywood film rather than reality.
But in other parts of the world, Christians face just that. Turn on the news and you're likely to see it. It is this devastating reality that Tom Doyle shares with us in his new book, Killing Christians.
Could you retain your faith even if it meant losing your life?
In , Tom Doyle takes readers to the secret meetings, the torture rooms, the grim prisons, and even the executions that are the “calling” of countless Muslims-turned-Christians. The depth of oppression Jesus followers suffer is unimaginable to most Western Christians. Yet, it is an everyday reality for those who choose faith over survival in Syria, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, and other countries hostile to the Gospel of Christ.
Each survivor longs to share with brothers and sisters “on the outside” what Christ has taught them. is their message to readers who still enjoy freedom to practice their faith. None would wish their pain and suffering on those who do not have to brave such misery, but the richness gained through their remarkable trials are delivered—often in their own words—through this book.
First and foremost, I must say this is not an easy book to read. Typically, I'm the type of reader who can read on and on and on until I have to sleep, or I've finished the book. With this book, I found instead that I had to take frequent breaks between stories. It was not because it wasn't a great read (it was), it was simply that the enormity of the stories and knowing that were were 100% true was a lot for my tender heart to take in at once. These stories are heartbreaking. They're heavy. And yet, despite it all, they are rather inspiring as well.
As I read each story, I find myself feeling very blessed. The stories like those told in Killing Christians are so foreign to me. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where practicing our religion is safe...where we do not have to fear being given the choice to live or die for our faith. This book was an excellent reminder not to take those freedoms for granted.
You can purchase Killing Christians at Family Christian.
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