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Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims…
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Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ (2007)

by Brother Andrew, Al Janssen (Author)

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290860,265 (4.11)3
In his letter to his protégé, Timothy, Paul says, "I have fought the good fight." In Arabic, those last three words are translated jihad. In Secret Believers, readers are introduced to Brother Andrew's protégé in the Muslim world, Butros. In this riveting true story of the Middle Eastern Church struggling to come to grips with hostile governments, terrorist acts, and an influx of Muslims coming to Christ, readers will meet a group of men and women they never knew existed. The names and places have been changed to protect the real people in the real places. But the stories are true. In his most incredible and eye-opening book to date, Brother Andrew invites you to meet: - Ahmed, a young Muslim terrified by nightmares until he is introduced to Isa (Jesus) - Mustafa, a former leader in a fundamentalist Muslim movement that persecuted Christians - Salima, a privileged young Muslim woman who is held captive by her family when they find a Bible in her possession - Abuna, a priest faced with an aging congregation and constant threats to his beloved church - and many more. Secret Believers not only gives readers a glimpse of the lives of these courageous believers, it also proposes four practical initiatives for Christians in the West to help these persecuted brothers and sisters. It calls us to join this new kind of jihad, leaving vengeance behind in favor of forgiveness, radical love, and unyielding prayer.… (more)

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» See also 3 mentions

English (7)  German (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
When I was introduced to Open Doors and Missionary Ventures, I was captivated with the work of Brother Andrew: A simple, regular man who risked his life to deliver the simple message of salvation and grace to forbidden territories and the willingness of strangers.

In his prior work "God Smuggler," the world was introduced to the Scandinavian man who customized his Volkswagen with secret panels, each holding countless Bibles. Brother Andrew drove over the border into post-WWII communist countries. He and his friends prayed at each checkpoint to make "Seeing Eyes Blind" to evade the border searches at a time when ownership at a Bible guaranteed jail or death. Thousands of Bibles were distributed to existing Christians who met secretly, but were forbidden to own a copy by their government. While a punishable offense, the requests grew in number.

Fast forward decades later and Brother Andrew, now an elderly gentleman, continues to spread hope to where it is most needed. He has no directed his attention to the middle east, and "Secret Believers" follows the compelling stories of several Christians in the Muslim world in existing Christian churches that are constantly struggling to survive, as well as several individuals who defied law to convert to Christianity. But the real story is not about Brother Andrew. It is difficult to hold the stories of modern martyrs struggling for the simple right to believe at arm's length.

The book doesn't really tell us anything that is completely unknown to a well-read Christian: Dry statistics coming from news sources sometimes imply the plight of non-Muslims in an Arabic world, complimented with the occasional scattershot of a personal story. However, no book I have read up until this one allows the reader to identify so strongly with individual stories and why, not just as Christians, but as human beings, both the freedom to believe and the freedom to gather are so critical a right. In America and parts of the Western World, we do not even begin to fathom our privilege, though freedom can slowly be chipped away from the passive over time.

The writing format takes a few pages to get used to, as the story jumps from one character to another until their lives intersect, but the stories themselves, written in unadorned prose transcend an awkward start out of the gate. This story, although non-fiction reads more similarly to a novel, recounts true stories, with only names changed to protect the identities of the players. In a few cases, characters are composited to obscure the locations and identifying characteristics of Arabic Christians alive at the time of publication.

If you are not careful, you will be changed after reading this whether you a Christian, a disbeliever or a Secret Believer.
  marianandhector | Sep 25, 2012 |
[back cover] In his most incredible and eye-opening book to date, Brother Andrew invites you to experience the riveting true sotry of the Church in Islamic countries. In the Middle East, Christians struggle to come to grips with hostile governments, terrorist acts, and an influx of Muslims coming to Christ. The names and places have been changed to protect the real people in the real places; but the stories are real.
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  UnivMenno | Mar 29, 2010 |
This book should be read by every Christian. It shames our American Christian comfort and ambivalence. It calls for a complete change of mind that renews our faith and returns it to what Christ called us to be in the beginning. ( )
  cewilliams3674 | Mar 30, 2009 |
NCLA Review -Secret Believers reads like a novel, but shapes actual experiences of Christians and new Muslim converts into a single narrative to shield their identities. We’ve heard about persecution of Christians in Muslim countries, but Brother Andrew, who has devoted years to encouraging and guiding Christians in hostile countries, has seen it face to face. He shows the particular challenge Christian churches face, and the courage and wisdom required to be a missional church where death is the penalty for Christian proselytizing. Brother Andrew’s own example teaches much about evangelism. His gentle and humble manner, willingness to dialogue and focus on common ground with Muslims, great patience and maturity—all play a part in enabling conversions. Then there’s the question of what to do with converts, many of whom initially flee to new surroundings but often return to their communities to witness. They face not only discrimination and broken family ties, but beatings, kidnappings, torture, and worse. But when Muslims are encouraged to learn more about their prophet, Jesus, his love often captures their hearts and they become willing to lay their lives on the line for him. It’s a real eye opener that belongs in every church library. Rating: 4 —DKW ( )
  ncla | Jul 6, 2008 |
Excellent! Very moving, and smooth telling of the different characters' lives within a Muslim society. It talks about the struggles, the sacrifices, and how to be more Christ-like in our attitudes. Definitely was an enlightening read for me! ( )
  NemesisClaws | Mar 16, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Janssen, AlAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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The good jihad. It sounds like an oxymoron, until you look in your Bible at 2 Timothy 4:7.
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