Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ by Brother Andrew, author of God’s Smuggler and co-author, Al Janssen.
I read God’s Smuggler when I was a teenager. For those who don’t know it’s the true story of a Dutch man, Brother Andrew who smuggled Bibles and other Christian literature behind the Iron Curtain to persecuted Christian believers prior to the demise of Communism in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe. The book made quite an impression on me at the time, and I continue to pray for those believers who are living in countries where freedom of religion is an empty and meaningless phrase.
As the Cold War ended and Christians in formerly Communist countries became more free to practice and spread the message of Christ, Brother Andrew and his organization, Open Doors, became concerned with supporting the persecuted church in other countries where there was no freedom of worship. This book, Secret Believers tells the story of Christian believers, particularly believers from a Muslim background, in predominately Muslim countries. These Muslims who convert to Christian faith in Isa as they call Jesus are persecuted by families, tribes, and by the government of their own country. They are often barred from educational opportunities, discriminated against economically, and not allowed to talk about their newfound faith or even to openly change their religious identity. In many countries, Christians, those who are born into Christian families, are allowed to convert to Islam, but Muslims, those who born into Muslim families, are never allowed to identify themselves as Christians. And the established Christian churches often won’t allow Muslim converts to come into the church because of the danger that brings to the churh in countries where evangelization and even attempting to convert a Muslim from Islam to Christianity is a crime punishable by prison or death.
The stories of Ahmed, Salima, Mustafa, and others, all MBB’s (Muslim background believers) is compelling and convicting. It made ashamed of the things I complain about and of the easy life I live, and it made me want to do something to help those who are suffering for their faith. The last part of the books has some suggestions along those lines. The most frequent request from Muslim believers in Christ is not for money or political action, but rather that we pray for them. And they don’t even ask that we pray that they be delivered from hardship and persecution but that we pray that they would be strong and unwavering in their faith in Christ.
Surely I can do that much.
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