Recommended resources


Many books tell in depth the stories of some Christians you have met in these pages. They include 

• Helen Berhane: Song of the Nightingale

• Asia Bibi: Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced to Death over a Cup of Water by Bibi as told to Anne-Isabelle Tollet. 

• Jim Elliot and Operation Auca: Through Gates of Splendor and Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot; End of the Spear by Steve Saint; Jungle Pilot: The Gripping Story of the Life and Witness of Nate Saint by Russell Hitt. 

• Festo Kivengere: Festo Kivengere by Frank Retief; children’s books Assassins in the Cathedral by Dave and Neta Jackson and The Man Who Would Not Hate by Jill Briscoe; Kivengere’s own I Love Idi Amin and Revolutionary Love

• Steven Khoury: In the Backyard of Jesus

• Maximilian Kolbe: The Last Days of Maximilian Kolbe by Sergius Lorit; No Greater Love by Boniface Hanley. 

• Wang Mingdao: The Long Road to Freedom: The Story of Wang Mingdao by Stephen Wang; Acquainted with Grief: Wang Mingdao’s Stand for the Persecuted Church in China by Thomas Alan Harvey; and Wang’s own A Call to the Church: 20 Pre-Prison Messages of Conviction and Courage.  

• Rómulo Sauñe: One Bright Shining Path: Faith in the Midst of Terrorism by W. Terry Whalin and Chris Woehr; children’s book Blinded by the Shining Path by Dave and Neta Jackson. 

• John and Betty Stam: Missionary Martyrs by Vance Christie; Triumph of John and Betty Stam by Geraldine Taylor.

• Gudina Tumsa: The Life and Ministry of Gudina Tumsa and Witness and Discipleship: The Essential Writings of Gudina Tumsa, collected and edited by WDL Publishers. 

• Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand: Richard and Sabina by Jack Cole; Richard’s Tortured for Christ and From Suffering to Triumph; Sabina’s The Pastor’s Wife.  

One of the most famous Protestant martyrologies (collections of martyr stories) is Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563). The Voice of the Martyrs’ modern-language Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs updates Foxe’s classic to introduce hundreds of new stories of persecution. While this updated book includes Roman Catholic and Orthodox martyrs, inspiring stories of them are also found in The Synaxarion: The Lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church and the Roman Martyrology. The New Encyclopedia of Christian Martyrs, edited by Mark Water, collects stories comprehensively and chronologically and also includes famous Christian teachings on persecution, prayers, quotations, and historical background. 

Context for stories is also important. These books give historical and sociological context surrounding the persecution of Christians in the modern world: 

• John Allen, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution

The Bad Urach Statement, “an evangelical theology of suffering, persecution and martyrdom for the global church in mission.”  

• Ronald Boyd-MacMillan, Faith that Endures: The Essential Guide to the Persecuted Church

• Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea, Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians

• Y. A. Masria, Christian Minority: The Copts in Egypt

• Glenn Penner, In the Shadow of the Cross

• Charles Tieszen, Re-Examining Religious Persecution

• Ruth Tucker, From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions

• Richard Wurmbrand, John Piper, and Milton Martin, The Triumphant Church

The Voice of the Martyrs’ Restricted Nations series discusses the history of persecution (along with modern testimonies) in China, Iran, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Sudan, Colombia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Eritrea. 

Christian History Issues

Read back issues at the CH website ( or purchase print copies of available issues at Past issues treating persecution—by outsiders toward Christians and by Christians toward each other—include 

22: Waldensians

27: Persecution in the Early Church

44: John Chrysostom

46: John Knox: The Thundering Scot

48: Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation

57: Converting the Empire

68: Jan Hus: The Incendiary Preacher of Prague

71: Huguenots and the Wars of Religion

74: Christians and Muslims

79: African Apostles: Black Evangelists in Africa

98: How the Church in China Survived and Thrived in the 20th Century 

Videos from Vision Video

The Torchlighters series of animated videos for children tells the stories of famous past Christians: Richard Wurmbrand and Jim Elliot are among those featured. Videos for adults include Agent Abbey, Beyond Torture, Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace, China Cry, Facing Extinction: Christians of Iraq, Faith Under Fire, Hidden Heroes, Indonesia: Island Jihad, Martyrs’ Cry, Reckoning, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, and Trial and Testimony of the Early Church.


The Voice of the Martyrs maintains many resources at, including breaking news, videos, educational resources, testimonies, ways to get involved, and facts about countries where Christians face persecution. It also provides resources for children to learn about persecution in a faith-shaping way ( and an online classroom with free self-study classes (

Other organizations working to aid persecuted Christians include Barnabas Aid (, Open Doors (, and Aid to the Church in Need ( Every year Christians are encouraged to participate in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (

The International Institute for Religious Freedom ( is “a network of professors, researchers, academics, specialists and university institutions” who prepare reliable data on the violation of religious freedom worldwide. Finally, while the Gordon-Conwell Center for the Study of Global Christianity does not focus specifically on persecution, it is a rich resource for global Christian data and a guide to reference books and websites ( CH

By The editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #109 in 2014]

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