‘Faith That Endures: The essential guide to the persecuted church’ by Ronald Boyd-MacMillan

As I have said elsewhere on this site, quite simply it’s one of the best books I have read on the persecuted church and it describes perfectly the type of people this site is set up to serve.Ronald Boyd-Macmillan first published the book in 2006 based on a number of convictions, the first of which was:

“That the fuller story of the contemporary persecuted church remains a tragically untold story. We hear too much of the deliverance stories of the few, and not enough about the endurance stories of the many. There is a grander, greater narrative of God’s action underneath the stories of individual pain, suffering, deliverance, and endurance”.

If you are investigating the persecution of Christians around the world today, or wanting to better understand something you may have been praying about for years, I thoroughly recommend this book.

‘Operation World’ by Jason Mandryk

This is core a core reference book if you want to be well informed when you pray for world mission.

This 7th edition published in 2015 covers all the countries of the world, with maps and information about each country to help you pray.

There is also a daily prayer guide and information on prayers that have been answered to encourage your faith.

Whether you are an intercessor praying behind the scenes for world change, a missionary abroad or simply curious about the world, Operation World will give you the information necessary to play a vital role in fulfilling the Great Commission.

‘Jars of Clay’ by Kenneth Harrod

The New Testament, it is sometimes said, was written by persecuted Christians for persecuted Christians.

That may be a slight exaggeration, but it contains, or implies, several important, and challenging, factors for Christians living in the ‘free’ west. It reminds us that ‘suffering for Christ’ is a central theme in New Testament Christianity. It reminds us also that, as part of the one Body of Christ, persecution affects (or should affect) every Christian, one way or another.

Jars of Clay gives a clear biblical perspective on persecution, and includes details of some of the persecuted believers from around the world whom the author has met as part of his ministry with Release International. The five chapters focus on five key areas: mission, the gospel, grace, the church and hope and each chapter concludes with questions that can be used for personal reflection or discussion, making it ideal for use in a Bible study or home group or as the basis for a teaching series within your church.

The book includes a foreword by the Archbishop of York, and has been commended by Canon Andrew White, Mervyn Thomas (Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide) and Lisa Pearce (Chief Executive of Open Doors UK).

You can purchase a copy of Jars of Clay direct from Release International

‘A wind in the House of Islam’ by David Garrison

I found this book to be an excellent insight into what is happening around the world in terms of movements of large groups of people from Islam to Christianity, a phenomenon which the book asserts to be unprecedented.

Although this book can rightly be regarded as research, it is not heavy and it is certainly not dry. While it is predominantly a survey of Muslim movements to Christ across the world, there is so much testimony evidence included that it is truly inspiring as well as informative.

The author, David Garrison, traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world to investigate movements, each defined as at least 100 new church starts or at least a thousand baptisms that have occurred over a two-decade period. Some of these movements containing tens of thousands of Muslims who are now followers of Jesus Christ.Garrison’s core question to these people was:
“What did God use to bring you to faith in Jesus Christ? Tell me your story.”

If you have given up hope in the face of what seems the irresistible tide of Islam, or if you want to re-ignite your faith in a God who does not regard any people group beyond his reach, I recommend you read this book and renew that hope and faith.

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