In 1979, there were fewer than 500 known Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. Today there are at least 100,000 believers. Church leaders believe that millions can be added to the church in the next few years – such is the spiritual hunger that exists. The religious violence that accompanied the reign of President Ahmadinejad drained its perpetrators of political and religious legitimacy, and has opened the door to other faiths. This book sets the rapid church growth in Iran in the context of the deteriorating relationship between Iranians and their national religion. There is a major focus on the Ahmadinejad years, but the author also covers the history of the church before 1979, picking up on the central idea that the spark may have become buried in the ashes but has never been extinguished. The book is careful, proportionate, well-informed and accurate. Throughout the text there will be boxes with stories of faith, persecution, and encouragement.
Mark Bradley is a researcher focusing on Middle Eastern Christianity.
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This book tells the history of Christians in Iran, the struggles they've been through, and are still going through, and the miracles of more people coming to Christ in this Islamic country. There have been some Church building allowed to stand for a while, but later being closed with people being arrested and in some instances being jailed for a long time o killed.
Now days the population of the house church is growing, fast. People all over Iran are leaving their Islamic faith and turning to Christ. All the information about this is all documented throughout the book, telling more history of Iran. There is also very moving stories of Peoples becoming Christians and the odds they had to overcome. I read of one woman who was agonizing over her husband and other family not wanting to become Christians and accept Christ. Soon after she was arrested and had to stay in solitary confinement. While there she didn't know it but the Miracle happened and her husband and other loved ones came to Christ.
This whole book is an inspiration to read, all of us here in the free world have no idea what it is to go through what the Christians have to do just to stay alive.
This book was given to me through bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review. I have given the book 5 stars.
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This book begins in 2011 with the wife of a Christian prisoner being asked, during interrogation by the MOIS (Ministry of Intelligence and Security" if she knew why her husband was in prison.
"Of course not. Your husband isn't in prison because of his religious faith. If we arrested people for religious reasons, there would be no room in the prisons." pg. 17
There is a detailed account starting with Iranians being born into their religion, Shia Islam. And an in depth recounting of the Ayatollah Khamenei's reign of terror beginning with his installation of his 'Government of God".
"So, with the support of 99% of the voters, the state and the Shia religion were cemented into one entity. Now everything that happened under the new government happened in the name of Islam." pg. 38
There was much political bloodshed, religious bloodshed, then the war with Iraq, which left 300,000 Iranians dead, another 500,000 wounded with not even a millimeter of foreign soil being gained.
There were all kinds of economic storms, including sanctions from the USA and loss of foreign investors.
Khamenei's reign was nothing compared to what Iran would face under Mahmoud Ahmadinejab.
"The wound between the Iranian people and her religion was becoming an open sore." pg 50
The violence inflicted on those whom protested his presidency, not just Christians, was brutal. Attacking with batons, kicking, punching, and pepper spray. Innocent bystanders were also attacked. Even seniors were attacked, as one witnessed an elderly lady being attacked by four or five officers when she complained they were blocking entrance to her house.
As the protests continued for months on end, the violence escalated, to warning shots into the air, and then just shooting directly into the protesters. And if you thought this was bad, it only gets worse when one ends up in prison. The varieties of tortures were unending.
The many churches in Iran have been closed because they would not follow the rules laid out by the government.
As the government tries to get rid of anything having to do with Christianity, and with all the arrests and torture, the more these home churches are growing. Included in the book are 5 different home church stylings, and it is very interesting to see how they came into existence, how they keep them running and how they never fail to stand up for their faith no matter what they face in prison.
Iranians are searching for so much more than their government is offering, they are open to Jesus. There are many reasons but one especially for women is that they are seen as valuable, equals and treated as such in Christianity, with some women pastoring the home churches. This never would allowed in the Muslim faith. You can read more about this in the book.
Jesus is alive and well in Iran!
Excellent read, lots of information and definitely an eye opening, and heart opening book. Pick it up today. You won't be disappointed. Then get busy praying for those standing up for what they believe. We here in Canada, USA, etc. are so blessed and we often don't realize just how so. We can order a Bible online if we can't get to a bookstore. We are not beat for having one in our home. We can attend church weekly without concern for our safety. May we here in our safe places remember to be thankful, and to pray for our brothers and sisters in peril.
I was given this book by bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.
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This was quite an informative and challenging book to read. I thought that it might be rather dry with all of the statistics that were included but I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enlightened about the growing church in Iran. What a blessing to know that our Savior is reaching these people in such awesome ways and how the church is multiplying despite the daily hardships and persecution. The author strived to give details and corroborating evidence throughout this book. I have been very challenged in my own walk - as free as we are to worship, we certainly take it so very much for granted. My prayers are with my brothers and sisters in Christ in the persecuted Church. Tremendous book!!!!!
I was given this book for my honest review from Book Club Network.
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I am the missions and social action coordinator for the women’s group at my church; and, as I read this book, I knew that it would be the basis for my next program. This enlightening and awe-inspiring book is written in a very reader-friendly manner, with carefully developed points backed up and documented by the many sources the author provides. He painstakingly lays out the reasons official Islamic leaders hate Christianity and the systematic efforts to eradicate it from Iran, which were a revelation to me. He then explains how, although only the Holy Spirit can convert anyone, the social, political and economic recent history of Iran led to disillusionment with Islam as practiced by religious elite in Iran and opened hearts toward a better way through faith in the nail scared hands of Jesus.
Like in the days of the early church, wide-spread persecution and martyrdom have only stirred the fires of faith. It reminds me of how much we take the freedom to practice our religion for granted and makes me ashamed of how blasé we can be about our opportunities to worship and praise God. It certainly inspired me to learn more about the persecuted church in Iran and elsewhere and share my new knowledge with others as we lift the persecuted up in prayer. The author provides true stories of those suffering or who have been arrested and executed to “put a face on” the whole issue. Read the book, and pray for them. I received the book through The Book Club Network in exchange for this my honest opinion. Reviews left on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, DS and CBD
Mark Bradley's Too Many to Jail is an amazing account of the work of Christ in the people of Iran. Despite the increased persecution of believers, Christ's Church is growing in this land of governmental interference in the religious environment. Bradley gives a relatively detailed and well documented account of how the increasingly hostile governing rulers have tried to stamp out Christianity especially over the last thirty five years. With an increasing disenchantment with religious officials, the Iranian people, Muslims included, are seeing the truth about the love of Jesus Christ and responding to His legacy of "gentleness, compassion, and humility" (pg. 105) Even esteemed Iranian poets make mention to Christ as more than a mere prophet, One who is a friend to the afflicted, able to bring back the dead and one to be followed.
Bradley discusses the demise of the so-called building church and the insurgence of house churches. Christianity has been part of Iran's culture for a number of years, i.e., the Presbyterian church has been in Iran for 180 years and the Assemblies of God has been a significant force in Iran's religious culture since the 1950s. When Muslims began to turn to Christ and attend the churches government stepped in and essentially shut down all building churches and the growth of house churches began. The author describes house churches and gives five examples to help the reader understand the dynamics at work in this movement. Despite the closing down of public churches and heightened persecution, which can include imprisonment, physical strip searches and beatings, loss of home and emigration or exodus, Christianity is on the move all over Iran. House churches are everywhere and are seen to have similar characteristics beginning with one man or woman taking the lead because of a sense of God's calling. There is connection with the worldwide church, often through Skype or the Internet, enabling these "new" Christians to learn from and partner with older Christians, often Iranians who have left Iran for security reasons, or as Bradley calls them--the church in diaspora.
Bradley gives heart-wrenching examples of persecution of believers and yet he notes a "but" in this suffering. He recalls Joseph's words to his brothers that they meant him harm "but" God intended it for good. Bradley calls this a beautiful "but". Persecution continues but God is sovereign and Christ's Church is growing. In Too Many to Jail Bradley gives readers a sobering, account of God weaving beauty into the suffering of these courageous Iranian believers who have an incredible strength of commitment to Jesus Christ.
At the end of the book Bradley includes 3 appendices, two describing the history of Iranian Christianity before 1979 and listing of aggressive acts towards Iran's believers. The third appendix is the final testament of a courageous Iranian Christian who was martyred for the cause of Christ in Iran. Too Many to Jail is a remarkable account of the growth of Christianity in Iran, a book that will remind the reader of the privileges Western Christians have and the need to be in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in a country fraught with peril and persecution.
I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review. I have posted reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deepershopping.com, Christianbook.com, Bookfun.org and GoodReads.
Mark Bradley has done a great service writing Too Many to Jail. It has brought to light what Christianity in a hostile country really looks like. I thought this would be an interesting read to get an idea how Christianity might be starting to eek into Iran. Instead, my eyes were opened to many ways God has been moving for so many more years than I realized. Bradley begins with a thorough background to understand the setting for the average person in Iran. Then he brings it around to what it looks like for a Christian and why someone might possibly turn to Jesus in a country like Iran. Quite honestly, it’s an eye opening book for someone that has a Western view.
Bradley takes us through what a house church looks like in Iran with 5 diverse samples. We get to see a variety of people and settings, but seeking the same savior, Jesus. This book finishes with even more history and details about how Christianity has transformed a nation turned against it. This book is a motivator for my own faith and walk realizing how easy I have it. There is an overwhelming excitement to see how the light can shine so bright in a very dark country.
I am thankful to have found this book courtesy of The Book Club Network. They bring out authors and titles I would not have found any other way. I have been provided this book for an honest review.
I was greatly surprised to learn of the spiritual hunger of the people of Iran as I read this truthful, yet personal account by Mark Bradley, a researcher in the Middle East. These people are not exclusively Muslim. They have an openness to various religious faiths. Many of these people are yearning for the one true God found in Jesus Christ.
The Iranian people know who Jesus Christ is through the Koran so faith in Him is not hard to come by. Some of them have become disillusioned by Islam due to the strict and unbending restrictions. Therefore, faith in Jesus, who is seen as loving and freeing, makes more sense.
Since 1979, there has been an increase in “house” churches due to thousands of families taking the step of faith in Jesus. The established churches that have church buildings are not a safe choice. Hence, the tremendous growth in family and friend “house” churches.
In this book, the author provides the history of Iran and how it has come to this place today regarding faith in Jesus Christ. It certainly thrills my heart to read of this growth surge, yet it comes with a high price – persecution. If you are concerned for the people of the Middle East, this is a book you will not want to miss.
I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. I have posted on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
"Too Many to Jail" by Mark Bradley is "The story of Iran's New Christians". A worthwhile read it also tells the history of Iran's Christians from centuries past.
Most people, I was one of them, think that Christianity not only barely exists in Iran but that it was simply eradicated with the arrival of the Islam of the Muslims. We learn that this was not the case. Instead it was a Mongol invader called Tamerlane. "It was he, not the early Arab invaders, who decimated Iran's church." (page 211) There have been Christians in Iran probably since the time of the Apostles and there are still some there today.
This book is sad when learning about all of the past and present day persecutions of the church and its members in Iran. However, it is joyful to learn that the new believers are filled with the Holy Spirit and the desire to evangelize.
The concept of house churches will most likely not be new to readers, but to see the extent of the network and the success that they enjoy is heartening to say the least. The house church leaders are a shining example of what it means to follow Jesus. Who knows? In the future we may need to resort to house churches right here in America.
I received a free copy of this book from The Book Club Network at www.bookfun.org.
I have posted this review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and Christianbook.
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Excellent book about the Christians and church in Iran. It has lots of information about house churches, the evangelism methods of the Christians and even stories of how some of the leaders of the house churches came to know Christ. Some parts I found interesting were the fact that Christians do not communicate via cell phone (too easily intercepted) but only through secure email and the philosophy of one of the house leaders. Mojtaba (a house church leader with about 600 members before he left Iran for the safety of his family) was “particularly strict in two areas: sexual relations and gossip,” as he felt both have the potential for destroying Christian fellowship.
Too Many to Jail documents the growth of Christians in a Muslim country. It tells of the history of the church in the country, the change political regimes have brought, the rise of house churches, and the persecution Christians have received. It is a very informative book for all desiring to know more about Christ’s church in Iran. I received this book from bookfun.org in return for my honest opinion.
Too Many To Jail is the story of Iran’s New Christians who, according to the Mark Bradley, now number more than 100,000. Many Iranians are growing disillusioned with Islam and are turning to God. The first part of the book shares many statistics and government information which was somewhat boring and difficult for me to read. One section of the book tells the history of Christianity in Iran going back to 1500s. I enjoyed reading the stories of current Christians in the many house churches in Iran. The persecution of Iranian Christians made me wonder if American Christians would be strong enough to survive such cruel acts. Would our number increase in the face of persecution?
Anyone would find the stories of the Iranian Christians interesting but people with an interest in Iranian history will find this book most insightful.
I received Too Many to Jail from www.bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion. I posted reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, CBD, Deeper Shopping and B&N.
I’m so glad I had a chance to read Too Many To Jail by Mark Bradley. This book really opened my eyes to glimpse what God’s children have to go through in other parts of the world just to serve Him/love Him. It makes me appreciate the freedom we have in this Country. Shows how we should be praying daily for the ones that are suffering. Glad I was given the opportunity to read this book. It’s one Christians from all over the world should read to appreciate our freedom and pray for others.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. I have posted on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and Deeper Shopping.