Sunday, April 3, 2016

Stories of persecution in Muslim lands

I remember back when I was in youth group and the book Jesus Freaks came out. It was kind of like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs meets Chicken Soup for the Soul. The focus is on presenting true stories in an inspiring way. “Although these narratives are true to actual events, some dialogue and descriptions are based on reasonable consideration of time, place, and circumstance” (pg. 17). This approach leaves me a little uneasy. I appreciate the honesty of the author(s) up front, but I don’t know how much of each narrative should be caveated with the moniker “based on a true story.”

Voice of the Martyrs, the organization behind Jesus Freak, recently released I am n. It’s a book in the same vein as the first, except it focuses primarily on modern-day believers who are persecuted in the Middle East. The title refers to Islamic terrorists who tagged the homes of Christians in Iraq with a spray-painted nun (Arabic n) to identify the believers there as followers of Jesus the Nazarene.

The chapters are arranged around certain themes: sacrifice, courage, joy, perseverance, etc. Each story fit well with its corresponding theme, but that could be due to the author emphasizing certain aspects of the stories to fit the themes—that’s the problem with books that take liberties with “dialogue and descriptions.”

For what it is, I am n accomplishes its goals of inspiring readers to be concerned for their persecuted brothers in the Middle East. Voice of the Martyrs does much good in the world, and I’m glad they can use books like I am n to raise awareness of our persecuted brothers as well as supplement their revenue to continue their ministry.

On a side note, the audiobook makes use of both a man and a woman narrator, which seems appropriate given the stories come from both men and women. The narrators alter their speech patterns for dialogue, which makes the book more interactive than a monotone narrator could do.

I received this book from christianaudio for the purpose of providing this review.

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