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Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ

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Open this book and meet Christians who are courageous in the face of persecution. Butros, a Christian man with a heart for the church. Ahmed, Mustafa and Hassan, devout Muslims until their hearts are changed by the Truth of Scripture. Salima, a rich young woman who loses everything when she falls in love with Jesus. How can Christianity flourish in the face of Sharia law? Open this book and meet Christians who are courageous in the face of persecution. Butros, a Christian man with a heart for the church. Ahmed, Mustafa and Hassan, devout Muslims until their hearts are changed by the Truth of Scripture. Salima, a rich young woman who loses everything when she falls in love with Jesus. How can Christianity flourish in the face of Sharia law? How can Christ's love win Muslims? What price will these believers pay for their faith?


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Open this book and meet Christians who are courageous in the face of persecution. Butros, a Christian man with a heart for the church. Ahmed, Mustafa and Hassan, devout Muslims until their hearts are changed by the Truth of Scripture. Salima, a rich young woman who loses everything when she falls in love with Jesus. How can Christianity flourish in the face of Sharia law? Open this book and meet Christians who are courageous in the face of persecution. Butros, a Christian man with a heart for the church. Ahmed, Mustafa and Hassan, devout Muslims until their hearts are changed by the Truth of Scripture. Salima, a rich young woman who loses everything when she falls in love with Jesus. How can Christianity flourish in the face of Sharia law? How can Christ's love win Muslims? What price will these believers pay for their faith?

30 review for Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Vellacott

    This is the third book I've read by the author. Secret Believers focuses on persecution of Muslim background believers (MBB's) in some unspecified countries. It reads as a novel with changed names and dramatic detail added. However, the author advises that all of the stories are fundamentally true. Graphic detail is avoided and the cases dealt with sensitively. Reading this, however, makes one feel very blessed to be living in a country of comparative ease. The uncomfortable question that hangs This is the third book I've read by the author. Secret Believers focuses on persecution of Muslim background believers (MBB's) in some unspecified countries. It reads as a novel with changed names and dramatic detail added. However, the author advises that all of the stories are fundamentally true. Graphic detail is avoided and the cases dealt with sensitively. Reading this, however, makes one feel very blessed to be living in a country of comparative ease. The uncomfortable question that hangs in the air, though, is whether more Christians currently living in countries where there is freedom of religion should be going as missionaries to those where the Gospel isn't known. Ultimately, this is down to an individual and their specific calling. In some of the countries documented, the individuals know that as soon as they convert, their lives, and sometimes the lives of their family members, will automatically be at risk. Whether or not we choose to go, we should definitely be praying for Christians in these situations. I recommend this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carlito Centeno

    I am often disappointed when I hear Christians lash against Muslims or Islam or Palestinians without the slightest clue to any of their history or circumstances. These Christians lack a relevant context from which they can judge or criticize. The book, Secret Believers, sheds light on what's going on in the Middle East, especially with Muslims who are coming to Isa (Christ). It provides a perspective that allows those of us who are disconnected from Islamic culture to put ourselves in a Muslim's I am often disappointed when I hear Christians lash against Muslims or Islam or Palestinians without the slightest clue to any of their history or circumstances. These Christians lack a relevant context from which they can judge or criticize. The book, Secret Believers, sheds light on what's going on in the Middle East, especially with Muslims who are coming to Isa (Christ). It provides a perspective that allows those of us who are disconnected from Islamic culture to put ourselves in a Muslim's shoes. It invites us to put self aside and put Muslim first when trying to understand the Truth. Though the authors of the book are Christians, they present a narrative that lay aside blind prejudice agendas while not compromising the Gospels. I believe love requires us that we put ourselves in another person's shoes. It requires us to at least try to understand another person's life and situation. Within the context of Islam, love requires that we not only listen to an "American" conservative perspective but that we also listen to Muslims, who know more about Islam and its traditions than any of us would. In this way, we diminish the stereotypes and discrimination that is based not in love but fear. I also recommend Light Force, written by the same authors. Light Force shares more details about the conflicts that exist between Palestinians and Israelis, though its main focus concerns the local churches caught in the crossfire. Many of us are completely oblivious to what's going on in the region. This book will provide the reader a clearer and fairer perspective on the Middle East.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Suzannah

    Secret Believers is a truly challenging and heartrending book about the plight of Muslim-background believers in Islamic countries. Since sharia law considers conversion to Christianity punishable by death, these believers face unimaginable disgrace, ostracism, difficulty and danger should they convert, and receiving baptism is like putting a price on your own head. This book explores their situation--their extreme vulnerability and their staggering, inspiring courage--through a lightly fictiona Secret Believers is a truly challenging and heartrending book about the plight of Muslim-background believers in Islamic countries. Since sharia law considers conversion to Christianity punishable by death, these believers face unimaginable disgrace, ostracism, difficulty and danger should they convert, and receiving baptism is like putting a price on your own head. This book explores their situation--their extreme vulnerability and their staggering, inspiring courage--through a lightly fictionalised narrative which follows a typical cast of struggling Christians through ten years' worth of discipleship and missions in a generic Middle Eastern country. I personally found it difficult to get into this segment of the book since the writing style was not terrific and I'm kind of sensitive to clunky narrative writing. It's hard to do properly, folks! That said, with a little perseverance I soon found myself immersed in the narrative. This is followed by a very short section from the authors, challenging Western Christians to respond to militant radicalised Islam in four ways: to see them as fields "white unto harvest"; to offer forgiveness when we are attacked; to embrace a cultural reformation by striving to imitate Christ so as to bear witness to Islam by holy living; and to commit to prayer for and if possible personal commitment to evangelism to Muslims. I'm writing this review just a couple of days after the Paris shootings of 2015 and although this book was published before the Arab Spring and the rise of the Islamic State, I could not be reading anything more relevant to these times. Each of these challenges deeply impressed me, and the last, to my surprise, echoed my own thoughts on this most recent act of terrorism: "If our only response is to go out and destroy Muslim fundamentalists, we won't win a single soul. We cannot win the war on terror with guns and bombs because everyone we kill is replaced by dozens more who seek revenge. The only answer is total, radical commitment to Jesus Christ." Amen. If you are concerned about the right Christian response to militant Islam, I don't believe you can do better than read this book and take these four challenges to heart: love them enough to want to see their conversion, learn to turn the other cheek where appropriate, set yourself apart from our decadent Western post-Christian culture, and commit to pray for or go to win Muslims to Christ.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael O'Brien

    I found this book inspirational and fascinating. It tells of the spiritual journey and struggles of several Muslims who convert to Christianity inside a Muslim nation. It is a story of courage and faith that, as an American Christian, humbled me ---- that we have so much in freedom that we take for granted. It also challenged my own faith ---- if faced with such daunting threats and troubles as these new Christians faced, how would we American Christians fare? This book made me think about Muslim I found this book inspirational and fascinating. It tells of the spiritual journey and struggles of several Muslims who convert to Christianity inside a Muslim nation. It is a story of courage and faith that, as an American Christian, humbled me ---- that we have so much in freedom that we take for granted. It also challenged my own faith ---- if faced with such daunting threats and troubles as these new Christians faced, how would we American Christians fare? This book made me think about Muslims in a different way --- not as the way they are portrayed so often in Western media --- but as men and women that God loves, and whom we as Christians should care about and pray for --- and to pray especially for those Christian brothers and sisters in Muslim lands who, every day, find their faith tested by the fire of a culture that comes down hard upon Christian converts in a way the world has not seen since the days of the First Century during the Roman Empire.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Inspiring, refreshing, and motivating. Secret Believers tells the story of secret Christians in the Middle East. The majority of the book narrates the stories of several different Muslims and what brought them all to Christ. The last quarter is more of a reflection on how Western Christians view Muslims and how we can pray and love them more. It is a simple, yet eye-opening read. Despite a few "dated" references, I think this book is even more applicable today than when it was published. It is a Inspiring, refreshing, and motivating. Secret Believers tells the story of secret Christians in the Middle East. The majority of the book narrates the stories of several different Muslims and what brought them all to Christ. The last quarter is more of a reflection on how Western Christians view Muslims and how we can pray and love them more. It is a simple, yet eye-opening read. Despite a few "dated" references, I think this book is even more applicable today than when it was published. It is a reminder of our brothers and sisters and the persecution they experience. It is also a call to love. That is one reminder I always need. I very much recommend this one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erika Mathews

    Thought provoking, well told. Two or three short paragraphs (in separate chapters) of torture scenes I skipped over.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carrie F.

    Brother Andrew lives on the cutting edge of Christianity-- going into places in the world where Christians are persecuted. It gets my blood pumping and seems like really living the gospel. Why is it that the rest of us Christians don't do likewise? Brother Andrew lives on the cutting edge of Christianity-- going into places in the world where Christians are persecuted. It gets my blood pumping and seems like really living the gospel. Why is it that the rest of us Christians don't do likewise?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hogfam

    Reads like a fiction story for 3/4ths of the book. Really good and eye opening!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wren

    Read this book to be encouraged in your faith and convicted of the call of all Christians to deeply love Muslims.

  10. 5 out of 5

    B.J. Richardson

    The theme of the book can probably be summed up with this quote: "Duty before self-preservation—that is a very important principle in Scripture. Do you remember when David confronted Goliath? He said that when a lion or bear attacked his father’s sheep, he went after it and killed it and rescued the sheep. Duty before self-preservation. Both father and son expected that David would do his duty to save the sheep. The heavenly Father had the same attitude toward Jesus." The story follows the lives o The theme of the book can probably be summed up with this quote: "Duty before self-preservation—that is a very important principle in Scripture. Do you remember when David confronted Goliath? He said that when a lion or bear attacked his father’s sheep, he went after it and killed it and rescued the sheep. Duty before self-preservation. Both father and son expected that David would do his duty to save the sheep. The heavenly Father had the same attitude toward Jesus." The story follows the lives of a few different converts from Islam into Christianity in a country where such a conversion equals death. Brother Andrew, the head of Voice of the Martyrs knows many such real-life individuals, but to tell their stories is not safe for them or their ministries. So instead he has written a fictionalized story based on their real-life experiences and dilemmas. In this, the story is excellent and should be read by all. From my own experiences and acquaintances, I was putting names of people I know too many of these characters because there are so many similarities. Brother Andrew clearly knows what he is talking about when he writes. What keeps this from being five stars, however, is that BA simply does not write fiction. I applaud the effort, but it is not his strength. In addition to that, those times where he inserts himself into the narrative seemed a wee bit self-promoting at times. I don't think that was the intention at all, and I do not know him to be a proud man, but it did come across that way to me in the book. Both these flaws seem minor compared to the major truth of what is happening in many parts of our world held under the thumb of oppression called Islam. Even in so-called free democratic Muslim states (like my home, Turkiye), it is very often not free or safe to be a vocal Christian. How much more so is the situation in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran? Through VotM and this book, BA is doing a very worthy job of keeping the situation of what is happening on our Western, free, radar. Another great tidbit from the end of his book we all need to remember... "How long will this conflict with Islam and terrorism last?” My usual reply is, “It will last until we Christians have found the answer to the question, 'Who is God?' and are able to verbalize it and prove by our actions that God is not the God of revenge but a God who forgives.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rod Horncastle

    The religion of Islam has alot of explaining to do if they think this kind of behaviour is acceptable and authorized by their god Allah. Of course Christianity has a similar history of horror against those who disagree with their faith and deity. However, the problem is: Christians(?) are often bad because they don't understand or even try to comprehend their scriptures (the Bible) - and Muslim's are often good because they don't fully comprehend their scriptures (the Quran). I know; i've read t The religion of Islam has alot of explaining to do if they think this kind of behaviour is acceptable and authorized by their god Allah. Of course Christianity has a similar history of horror against those who disagree with their faith and deity. However, the problem is: Christians(?) are often bad because they don't understand or even try to comprehend their scriptures (the Bible) - and Muslim's are often good because they don't fully comprehend their scriptures (the Quran). I know; i've read them both. And this book brings us to reality. If you walk away from Christianity in this day and age: generally nothing happens (although some families are very abusive and missed the whole LOVE part of the Bible). The Israelites of the Old Testament had laws that were abusive during a period of history where God gave orders to protect morality and family goodness. But we no longer live in that world. Islam demands that all who walk away from its beliefs be punished. It comes across as a scared and worried belief system that can only survive by force and persecution. My advice: If Allah doesn't like someone's behaviour - let him personally come and deal with it. And this book by Brother Andrew and Al Janssen show us what its like to attempt to live surrounded by Islam. Many Muslim's declare that Islam is a religion of Peace and Love. And they are partially correct. As long as you do everything you are told and hate the right people at the right time then you just might have peace and conditional love. Here's an easy challenge to Muslims: the next time you hear an Imam say something hate filled and unloving in a Mosque stand up and correct him. See what kind of response you will get. And this book shows you what would happen as a result of sharing true peace and love. You will be persecuted.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Unless Christ returns first, we can be certain that we will die physically. If each of us will die, is it too much to ask God that He be glorified in our death? What is holding us back? If we are convinced that Jesus paid the price for our sins and that when we leave this life we enter into his presence, we should not be afraid to die. [p. 525] This is truth -- all Christians know it, but how many of us live it? I like Brother Andrew's books because he understands discipleship. He does what God te Unless Christ returns first, we can be certain that we will die physically. If each of us will die, is it too much to ask God that He be glorified in our death? What is holding us back? If we are convinced that Jesus paid the price for our sins and that when we leave this life we enter into his presence, we should not be afraid to die. [p. 525] This is truth -- all Christians know it, but how many of us live it? I like Brother Andrew's books because he understands discipleship. He does what God tells him to do. He refuses to argue theology and quibble over denominational differences when people the world over long for the truth about God and His Son. I don't know about you, but being a disciple of Jesus is hard for me. Brother Andrew's books show real people living it out which gives me practical applications... and assures me it's possible. On the actual subject of this book: I think Islam is a greater threat than Communism ever was because Communism completely denies the existence of God while foundational to Islam is belief in one powerful God. That's why Muslim fundamentalists are willing to give up everything for the cause and it's why violence isn't a particularly effective way to counter their attacks. They aren't afraid of pain and death -- dying in jihad assures them of eternal reward. Brother Andrew points out that what we need is Christians who are just as radical in their obedience to God, who are willing -- even eager -- to die fighting in God's army.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leah Good

    What an amazing, challenging book! Open this book and meet Christians who are courageous in the face of persecution. Butros, a Christian man with a heart for the church. Ahmed, Mustafa and Hassan, devout Muslims until their hearts are changed by the Truth of Scripture. They flee their hometowns but soon become passionate about sharing the gospel. Salima, a rich young woman loses everything when she falls in love with Jesus. How can Christianity flourish the the face of Sharia law? How can Christ' What an amazing, challenging book! Open this book and meet Christians who are courageous in the face of persecution. Butros, a Christian man with a heart for the church. Ahmed, Mustafa and Hassan, devout Muslims until their hearts are changed by the Truth of Scripture. They flee their hometowns but soon become passionate about sharing the gospel. Salima, a rich young woman loses everything when she falls in love with Jesus. How can Christianity flourish the the face of Sharia law? How can Christ's love win Muslims? What price will these believers pay for their faith? This book is riveting. I like it because it sheds light on the church in Muslim countries. The persecution believers(especially Muslim converts) face is incredible and these Christians are so courageous. They are better at witnessing than most of us in the West are and they face much worse consequences. I love books that give me a better understanding of God and His work and challenge me in some way and this book totally did that. Note: This book is not for young readers. The stories of what some Christians suffer are better suited for teens and adults.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adam Balshan

    4.5 stars [Anthology] (W: 4.5, P: 4.5, T: 4.93) Exact rating: 4.64 #1 of 18 in genre #2 of 57 in Missions A stunning compilation of related stories in an unnamed Arab country. Observe what persecution for one's faith looks like in the modern world. Observe how people react to it, both wrongly and rightly, both viscerally and faithfully. Observe the nuances, both fair and multifaceted, of a major world religion. Observe real Christianity, and the movement of The Spirit of God, which no human power can 4.5 stars [Anthology] (W: 4.5, P: 4.5, T: 4.93) Exact rating: 4.64 #1 of 18 in genre #2 of 57 in Missions A stunning compilation of related stories in an unnamed Arab country. Observe what persecution for one's faith looks like in the modern world. Observe how people react to it, both wrongly and rightly, both viscerally and faithfully. Observe the nuances, both fair and multifaceted, of a major world religion. Observe real Christianity, and the movement of The Spirit of God, which no human power can stop. The final 35 pages propose a response, expressing the heart of God and worthy of being called paradigmatic. This proposal's only demerit, since it included a critique of political power, was that it omitted a counterbalancing comment of the good which can be done by governments restricting the scope of evil (a point which, however, the main body implied when a secret believer and high official of the country helped persecuted Christians). Every Christian should read this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I just re-read this book. I am not even sure how many times I have read it...this has got to be number 3 or 4. I love the honesty of the characters (or people) in the book and how their lives are intertwined. Also, it is imperative that North American Christians are aware of the reality facing our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. Furthermore, we must think long and hard about what it means to be Christians in a world that is becoming increasing influenced by Islam. All that bein I just re-read this book. I am not even sure how many times I have read it...this has got to be number 3 or 4. I love the honesty of the characters (or people) in the book and how their lives are intertwined. Also, it is imperative that North American Christians are aware of the reality facing our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. Furthermore, we must think long and hard about what it means to be Christians in a world that is becoming increasing influenced by Islam. All that being said, the believers represented in the book deserve our congratulations for their ability to stay focused on what really matters...Christ and Him crucified.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trine

    We need more books like this one to show us what God is doing around the world, to show us what it really is like to be a religious minority and to remind us that the West not always is the best example on Christian living. It is a very strong call for prayer and help for the all the Christians in the Muslim world.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deanna Perkins

    This book gave me so much to ponder! Not only does it help you follow the lives of Muslims who became followers of Christ, but it also issues challenges to Christian’s who don’t live in truly persecuted societies. This was directly written to bring light to the believers who must fear for their livelihoods, safety and ultimately their lives where they live. I enjoyed getting to know the believers in this book and following their journeys. While it was hard to fully understand what they are going This book gave me so much to ponder! Not only does it help you follow the lives of Muslims who became followers of Christ, but it also issues challenges to Christian’s who don’t live in truly persecuted societies. This was directly written to bring light to the believers who must fear for their livelihoods, safety and ultimately their lives where they live. I enjoyed getting to know the believers in this book and following their journeys. While it was hard to fully understand what they are going through, it really did open my eyes to how privileged I am in the USA. I would challenge Christian’s everywhere to read this book! To understand what believers face on a daily basis when they are the minority and their society doesn’t truly support freedom of religion. Capturing these here for future easy reference (challenges): 1. Do we view Muslims as enemies? Or are we seeking to win them to Christ? 2. Are we going to seek revenge when we are attached? Should we not offer forgiveness instead? 3. What would happen if we accepted the challenge of Islam by striving as Christians to imitate Christ? 4. Are we really convinced that we are engaged in a spiritual war? If so, shouldn’t we commit to a life of prayer? Www.secretbelievers.org

  18. 4 out of 5

    Frank Peters

    This is a really good book for any Christian to read who has any interest or interaction with Islam. The book starts slowly and isn’t written as well as I would have liked. As a result, I would have rated it poorly based on the first half. Then, things pick up. Brother Andrew’s commentary and challenge at the end of the book are also outstanding. The book discusses the elephant in the room when it comes to Islam, as the author portray the good, the bad and the ugly; not just providing one side. This is a really good book for any Christian to read who has any interest or interaction with Islam. The book starts slowly and isn’t written as well as I would have liked. As a result, I would have rated it poorly based on the first half. Then, things pick up. Brother Andrew’s commentary and challenge at the end of the book are also outstanding. The book discusses the elephant in the room when it comes to Islam, as the author portray the good, the bad and the ugly; not just providing one side. The conditions for these Christians from the Middle East is truly shocking, and shamefully they are mostly ignored by most Christians in the West. What is perhaps even more sad, is that I really don’t think many care at all, but rather are happy to live in their little happy bubbles.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    A compelling account of the challenges faced by Christians in Islamic countries, both those born into Christianity and those who have converted. But the strength lies in the answers given to these challenges: love, forgiveness, sacrifice, etc. in other words, the example of Christ. Would that we Christians in America would be broken and burdened for Muslims, and less focused on justice, revenge, and fear. The solution starts on our knees, in our communities, and in our willingness to reach abroa A compelling account of the challenges faced by Christians in Islamic countries, both those born into Christianity and those who have converted. But the strength lies in the answers given to these challenges: love, forgiveness, sacrifice, etc. in other words, the example of Christ. Would that we Christians in America would be broken and burdened for Muslims, and less focused on justice, revenge, and fear. The solution starts on our knees, in our communities, and in our willingness to reach abroad.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angela Priebbenow

    An absolutely riveting reminder that there is a spiritual war raging in our world. A reminder that one person with God is a majority. A reminder that as Christians we are called to love, to forgive, and to pray with our brothers and sisters in countries where it's illegal to become a Christian, that people from all nations and faiths would come to know our Great God of peace, love, and forgiveness. An absolutely riveting reminder that there is a spiritual war raging in our world. A reminder that one person with God is a majority. A reminder that as Christians we are called to love, to forgive, and to pray with our brothers and sisters in countries where it's illegal to become a Christian, that people from all nations and faiths would come to know our Great God of peace, love, and forgiveness.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Koehn

    Great book! I’ve enjoyed reading stories of suffering believers in the majority world lately. It somehow puts life into perspective and it makes me grasp the worthiness of Christ in a new way. I don’t believe I’ve read a book about Muslim converts in the Middle East before, so this was new to read the story in its entirety. Highly recommend to any Christian. May we remember our suffering brothers and sisters as if we are in chains with them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Schwarz

    I enjoyed this book but it was hard to read at times with the jumping back and forth between people. Took me half the book to figure out who was who and then it ended and left me wanting to hear more about them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    smReader

    Uncomfortably challenging and incredibly inspiring - this book had me at the edge of my seat as my heart rejoiced and broke into pieces for the people in this book. Because they are real people, not just characters. Real Christians. I think every Christian should read this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    An excellent and eye-opening look at the Christian life in a Muslim land.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Imogen

    Fantastic book which really brings home the plight of Christians who are persecuted for their faith. Very easy to read and hard to put down!

  26. 4 out of 5

    J

    Powerful

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Read this book about 5 years ago and it inspired me to live closer to Jesus.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen Ferrell

    Hopeful but depressing at the same time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lena Morrison

    Very interesting and moving. For us Western Christians, it’s worth reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Don

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. secret believers

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