Tag Archives: persecution

Face to Face with Jesus – Samaa Habib & Bodie Thoene

Face to Face with Jesus is published by Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Face to Face with Jesus is published by Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book
About the Author (Samaa)
About the Author (Bodie)

Summary: Born into a Muslim family in the Middle East, Samaa grew up following Islam. Unsatisfied by following the faith of her family, Samaa came to know Christ after her experiences in tae kwon do and in church (that she secretly attended). When a bomb explodes next to her head during a church bombing, Samaa is killed and meets Jesus in Heaven. Her testimony and fire for God have shown Christ’s love not only to her family but to others around the world.

Review: I’m always skeptical about accounts of people who have “gone to heaven” because really, it’s not something to be trifled with. You know? It’s a serious thing! For me, there were a few specifics that gave the account more credibility (listed from the book in order of appearance):

  • She grew up a devout Muslim. For a devout Muslim to make such a dramatic life changing decision is, in itself, a miracle. Only God can change a heart that dramatically!
  • The fact that she faced persecution, even within her own family, and still she didn’t turn back.
  • Her account of Heaven and Jesus matches up with what we know of them both from Scripture.
  • The fact that her experience brought more of her family to Christ, and that she didn’t immediately share her experience with the world.

Did I agree with all her theology and uses of Scripture? No, and that’s ok because we really shouldn’t agree 100% with anyone but God. But I give her credit and don’t doubt her story because I didn’t live her story so who am I to say God didn’t move in her life the way she says He did. I especially like what she says on pg. 181 about people asking her what she saw in Heaven. She says, “People have asked if I saw the New Jerusalem and the twenty-four elders…or family members, angels, clouds of witnesses… It was all there, but my eyes were fixed on Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” Really, that’s how it should be in Heaven because it is all about Jesus. Not about the streets of gold or who from the earth is in Heaven. Jesus.

Her story is well told, and it’s not just about going to Heaven, it’s about her whole life. Had she not given us all the details (less her country of origin, for obvious reasons) we wouldn’t be able to make an accurate assessment about her experience as a whole. I, for one, am appreciative of her sharing her story. And I pray that she continues to live her life for God. We won’t know for sure until we get to Heaven if her story is true, but if you’re willing to read her account with your Bible close by, it’s worth a read!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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The Global War on Christians – John L. Allen Jr.

About the Book
About the Author
Read an Excerpt

Summary: The Global War on Christians brings to light the stories of Christians living in parts of the world where there are documented cases of religious persecution. John Allen clarifies that this isn’t the type of “war” here in the U.S. where people fight over whether or not nativities are ok in public, this is genuine persecution where just being a Christian is life-threatening.

Review: Honestly, I’m not done with the book. I’m not even a quarter of the way through. It’s not because it’s a bad book or because I don’t agree with the author (he’s Catholic, I’m not). It’s just that I have a really hard time reading books like this. The content is valuable and the Western world needs to be aware that persecution on the level of “you’re being killed because you believe in God” actually happens. But this just wasn’t the book for me. It was wordy, which the author admitted it probably would be. But it was dry, I thought. The data is good to include, the break down of world areas was good because it kept things more focused. For me, I think it would have been less dry if there had been larger sections of biographical information thrown in. I understand though that because of the topic, those kinds of stories may be hard to come by.

The Global War on Christians was well-written and well worth the read if you like more data. I would definitely recommend the book simply because it’s a topic that seems to be a bit taboo in the United States. But I have to let you know, I like this kind of stuff (because it’s important to know for a number of reasons) but unfortunately I couldn’t make it through the book in a timely fashion, no matter how hard I tried.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Persecuted – Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea

About the Book

About the Authors: Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, Nina Shea

Summary: Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians by Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea provide a glimpse into the lives of Eastern Christians. Presented in Persecuted are countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and those formerly under Soviet control. Not only do the authors share stories from the lives of Christians in these countries, they also explain the laws of each country. Persecuted is a well-written book that gives Western Christians a knowledge of what their Eastern brothers and sisters in the faith experience on a daily basis.

Review:  When I was a teen I read the book by DC Talk about martyrs of the faith. Now, as an adult, reading Persecuted I’ve gotten a more “advanced” understanding of what happens to Eastern Christians. As a born and raised Western Christian, this book has given me a deeper appreciation for what we do have as a country. We’re free to convert to Christianity, we’re free to build churches, we’re free to own a Bible. Things aren’t ideal, and they won’t be this side of Heaven, but things aren’t as tight as they are in the countries presented in Persecuted.

The authors have done a very good job of compiling and presenting the information. Out of the ten chapters, all but two are about specific countries. Each chapter is broken up by region and the countries presented all have similar laws regarding religion. I did have a bit of a hard time reading the book though. Not because it was poorly written, but because it’s just such an intense topic to really read about. 

The whole book really made an impression on me. I would highly recommend Persecuted to every Western Christian. Read it with your church, read it with friends, just read it! 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

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