Imagine a five-foot-tall woman capable of challenging the entire Communist Romanian dictatorship, and you have a picture of Virginia Prodan, an author, speaker, and international human rights attorney. In the opening scene of her captivating memoir, she has an assassin’s gun to her head, and the postscript brings her amazing story full circle with an account of this assassin coming to Christ. The book, packed with firsthand accounts of religious oppression under Nicolae Ceaușescu’s horrific regime, details how Prodan exposed a secret that helped topple his government—but not before the deaths of thousands of Christians.
Moore, an author, human-rights activist, and president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, received a Medal of Valor award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2017 for his efforts to rescue thousands of persecuted Christians from Iraq and Lebanon, which included chartering and funding planes. The Martyr’s Oath, inspired by a pledge that he heard recited at a graduation ceremony for theology students in India, draws on interviews with the family members of martyrs from countries across the world. Each of the book’s 15 chapters highlights one of the oath’s statements and describes how persecuted believers are living them out in the face of incredible hostility.
Nettleton is the longtime “voice” of the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) and host of its radio program. In this book, he recounts some of his journeys to meet with persecuted Christians around the world, journeys that have taken him to over 20 countries. Many of Nettleton’s stories will linger in your mind as testaments to the cost of carrying the Cross—stories like that of Pastor Abraham in Sudan with his little red Bible, the only one available to his congregation until VOM arrived with boxes more. Four days after that joyful encounter, jihadists shot him in the head and kidnapped several others.
Few modern martyrs have left behind as monumental a legacy as the 20th-century Chinese evangelist Watchman Nee, whose books sold in the millions and whose Little Flock movement helped plant untold numbers of house churches. This biography comes from Angus Kinnear, a friend and missionary doctor who also translated some of Nee’s key works, including The Normal Christian Life, into English. It gives us a peek into Nee’s contemplative pietism, his opposition to denominational divisions, his fortitude among haters of Christ, and his long journey through persecution unto death.
Bryan M. Litfin
Shifting from contemporary Christian martyrs to contemporary Christians writing about martyrs, we come to this lively little volume from Bryan Litfin, a longtime Moody Bible Institute theology professor now teaching at Liberty University’s divinity school (as well as an occasional writer of historical fiction). In Early Christian Martyr Stories, he corrects various misrepresentations that crop up in other accounts, such as overstatements on the scope of persecution or problematic depictions of Romans and Christians alike. A highlight is Litfin’s riveting chapter on the noblewoman Perpetua and her servant Felicitas, who were put to death for their faith in third-century Carthage despite the former being a new mother and the latter being pregnant.
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