About the Book
The conception of the book goes back to the missiological consultation in Iguassu, 1999. The editorial team of William Taylor (USA), Tonica van der Meer (Brazil), and Reg Reimer (Canada) worked over six years to compile this unique Biblical, historical and case study anthology.
This unique book emerges as the editors grappled with challenging questions, including these:
- What do both the Biblical record and church history teach us about these themes?
- What does our contemporary global experience say to us? What case studies will help?
- How should we equip both the church and its leadership as well as the global mission movement in light of today’s growing harassment, persecution and martyrdom?
- Does persecution cause the church to grow or can it kill it?
- What will harassment and persecution look like as it grows in the Global North?
- How can we equip both the churches and our future cross-cultural servants to live in contexts where they will face persecution and possible martyrdom?
- What do we learn for each other, and how can we pray for and serve each other?
“It is with reverence that I touch Sorrow and Blood. The data, reports, witnesses, and biblical reflections open before my eyes allow me and push me to see the faces of people who tell me with their lives that in Jesus Christ they found the meaning of life and of history. The world is not worthy of them (Heb 11:38) nor am I. But in grace they minister to our lives and to our generation, calling us all into a deeper commitment to being agents of God’s Kingdom in the corners of the world in which we live. I feel honored to be ministered by those who tell me, through suffering, that it is good and necessary to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and to live, or even die, for him. It’s an amazing work. Gloria Deo.”
— Dr. Valdir Steuernagel, Theologian-at-Large, World Vision International, Brazil
“Sorrow and Blood is a powerful and comprehensive global study of persecution and suffering. Every follower of Christ who wants to be informed and inspired should read this book. It should be required reading for pastors, missionaries, activists, or any other Christian who wants to engage biblically in a complex world where millions of fellow believers are under great pressure or persecution for their faith.”
— Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO / Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance
“For most of us it is incomprehensible the suffering that our sisters and brothers have endured in many places around the globe for the sake of the Gospel. Sorrow and Blood is the best effort done by evangelical reflective practitioners to provide a comprehensive description and a deep analysis of what Christian suffering and martyrdom mean and what the situation looks like today. This is not just another book produced by the Mission Commission of WEA, but one of the most profound and challenging to read, particularly if you do it with an open mind and a warm heart.”
— Bertil Ekström, Executive Director, WEA Mission Commission
“As I read this book and write these lines, I am aware that right now native evangelical Christians are forced to leave their land and their towns in southern Mexico because of their faith. The question of religious persecution has become all pervasive and urgent, both in the European post-Christendom societies as well as in countries dominated by Islam and other religions. This book is a most valuable compendium and it should become required reading for future missionaries and mission educators. The rich diversity of nationalities, perspectives, and styles represented is a good example of how Christian missiology is becoming truly global.”
— Dr. Samuel Escobar, Facultad Protestante de Teologica UEBE, Madrid, Spain
“The motto of those in China’s house churches responsible for the “Back-to-Jerusalem” vision today is “Sacrifice, abandonment, poverty, suffering, death”! I suppose they must know what they are talking about, given the phenomenal growth of the Chinese church since the 1970s. Although there will always be those whose ingenuity will help them find a way around it, those who are concerned about the advance of the Gospel know that the cross is always central. Sorrow and Blood powerfully makes the same point. Read it if you want to be serious about missions!”
— Dr. Hwa Yung, Bishop, The Methodist Church, Malaysia
“It is not only inside the Christian church but also in civil society and global foreign policy today that the question of religious freedom has made a comeback. What unites church and civil society is the challenge of how to enter a future where relations between religions will be even more tense. Followers of Jesus will now realize more and more that “with the message of the cross goes the cross of the message.” In this situation I thank God for the new book Sorrow and Blood. After reading many books on persecution that deal with parts of the challenge facing the future I find here the best book I have seen as it goes into all the dimensions of the challenge but also gives good practical advice. This is a must for everyone that wants to be relevant in missions work or in religious freedom work in the days ahead.”
— Very Rev. Johan Candelin, Finland, Goodwill Ambassador, World Evangelical Alliance
“The history of our church is one of suffering and martyrdom. While it’s impossible to completely comprehend God’s sovereignty in this, our role is to be ever aware of the growing difficulties of our brothers and sisters worldwide and to do our utmost to understand, assist, and intercede. We should each also be prepared to face both unexpected and expected challenges in our own ministry and life. In this light, Sorrow and Blood paints us a fuller picture of suffering through splendid biblical, theological, historical, missional, and pastoral insights.”
— Chulho Han, Director, Mission Korea Partners
“In Sorrow and Blood, a chorus of trusted global voices share the most compelling and comprehensive historical, theological, and missiological overview of ministry in a context of suffering, persecution, and martyrdom ever compiled. This volume will push you to reflect anew on the true cost of discipleship and inspire a fresh commitment to stand in the gap for those living out their faith under the storm clouds of oppression in its various forms.”
— Steve Moore, President, Missio Nexus, vice chair, WEA Mission Commission Global Leadership Council, USA
“At a recent Mani (Movement for African National Initiatives) consultation, a Sudanese brother shared his heart on the suffering of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East and North African countries. This resulted in an outpouring of prayer as I have seldom experienced. We were informed and it touched us. This most comprehensive book on suffering and persecution will be of immense value to the global church, but especially to the African church. It will create an awareness that is often lacking. May we all be shaken out of our complacency. Every pastor, mission leader, and Bible school student should read this book.”
— Peter Tarantal, Director of Wensa (World Evangelization Network of South Africa) and leadership team of MAN,; chair, WEA Mission Commission Global Leadership Council, South Africa
“With a wonderful balance of insight and passion this volume addresses the most neglected mark of the true church: suffering. Readers will not only be enlightened, but also deeply moved and challenged listening to voices from around the globe reflect theologically, report accurately, and testify personally on this topic. Sorrow and Blood is a profound and vital contribution to our understanding of the church and mission.”
— Dr. Craig Ott, Professor of Mission and Intercultural Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“The human cost of the Great Commission in hostile environments is something Christians too of- ten overlook. In this important resource book, Taylor, van der Meer, and Reimer provide an encyclopaedic study of suffering, persecution, and martyrdom in global Christian mission. It combines survey, scholarship, and stories to speak to both head and heart about the cost of discipleship for many believers. This is a well-researched call to pray and advocate for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world and to prepare believers to suffer for their faith. Every mission agency, seminary, and church should have a copy.”
— Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry, Dean/President and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA, USA
“This is an essential, impactful, disturbing book: clear and forthright without denying the complexity of the matter. This book is close to my heart because I grew up in the state of Chiapas, southern Mexico, in a context of severe persecution of those who confessed their faith in Jesus Christ and read the Bible for themselves. But we were not alone. The editors are eminently qualified to compile this volume. The authors and case studies provide the reader with breadth of experiential familiarity coupled with depth and sensitivity of understanding. The structure of the book provides the reader with a broad and deep treatment of a very difficult topic, offering theoretical, biblical, historical, and practical reflections. This is essential reading for anyone involved in cross-cultural mission on every continent.”
— Dr. Charles Van Engen, Arthur F. Glasser Professor of Biblical Theology of Mission School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA
“This volume jolts us out of our complacency by reminding us that one-third of all countries have either no religious freedom or it is severely restricted; it looks at the implications of this reality in terms of experience, Scripture, theology, and history, and it draws us into the implications of what all this means for prayerful action, spiritual warfare, political advocacy, and human caring. Finally, it brings a fresh perspective on what it means to genuinely pursue the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.”
— Dr. Rod Wilson, President, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
“This book brings to us a vast research on its proposed theme. One will not only learn about the present suffering situation. But one will also become aware of the need to have one’s mission practices based on the Scripture’s teaching. As the Bible and reality come together, naturally the book emphasizes the need of proper training before sending missionaries. I am sure that the reader will be able to engage in mission aware of its danger, price, and eternal reward.”
— Silas M. Tostes, President, Brazilian Mission Association, and President, Antioch Mission
“Sorrow and Blood is a priceless, comprehensive compilation of material providing practical, bibli- cal, and theological grist for any discussion of Christian suffering. Advocates for religious freedom will be emboldened, missionaries will receive wisdom, and the persecuted will find a tangible sup- port base that allows hope to be both credible and sustained. For all, dove-like innocence will be buttressed by reptilian shrewdness, as pragmatic and best-practiced initiatives are taken on behalf of those who suffer. Quite simply, the “learned obedience” of Gethsemane will provide greater richness to the glorification that comes from Calvary’s pain.”
— Robert A. Seiple, Ambassador-at-large (retired) for International Religious Freedom, USA
“Sorrow and Blood shows that we cannot properly conceive of mission apart from suffering and persecution, and its sixty authors consider every dimension of their relation. In no other book can we find such careful biblical and theological discussion combined with history, a range of case studies, and nuanced discussions of countries and trends in the modern world. To this it adds information and advice on training and preparation, and guides to a range of resources. Anyone involved in mission, or studying mission, will profit immensely from this excellent book.”
— Pail Marshall, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
“I recently stood in Cairo at the spot where just days earlier sixteen Egyptians had lost their lives— because they were Christians. Indeed, as this book vividly describes, Christians are being brutalized and killed the world around because of their confession of faith in Christ. Sorrow and Blood, with rich insights provided by a breadth of writers, is a milestone of analysis. My hope is that it will do more than sober a few mission specialists, but that these pages will find their way into messages, articles, film, and video media, expanding an ever-growing awareness of heroic, Christ-like suffer- ing, and also about what can be done to effectively advocate for persecuted people of faith.”
— Brian C. Stiller, Global Ambassador, World Evangelical Alliance, President Emeritus, Tyndale University College and Seminary
“Sorrow and Blood hit me in a powerful way before this book went to press. My friend, Artur Suleimanov was gunned down because of his bold witness for Christ. When I picked up this book I thought of Artur. I know he would be thankful for the wonderful research found in its pages. He would praise God for such solid biblical theology regarding suffering. He would rejoice that global mission will never be the same as a result of this work and its application to our teaching, preparation, and prayers.”
— Rev. Bruce Huseby, Pastor of Global Ministries, Calvary Church, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
“What a resource! I knew this book would be packed with information, but I did not anticipate how much it would provoke and challenge me in my own life as a disciple. If suffering and sorrow drive us to desperation, where Jesus transforms, then we have much to learn from the persecuted church about Christian devotion. This anthology serves not only as an outstanding theological, historical, and missiological resource, but also as a prophetic witness to consumer Christianity. It’s a bracing reminder that there is only one way to Christ, the way of the cross.”
— Rev. Clifton David Sims Warner, Rector, Christ Church-Anglican, Austin, TX, USA
“As Latins in mission to the Muslim world, we receive this book with enthusiasm and gratitude. Reading it has been a consolation and personal encouragement because of the various perspectives of this challenging reality, whether theological, historical, pastoral, or through case studies. I have the impression that this text will become required reading for all of us who aspire to continue serving and honoring the Lord of the Harvest on mission. Our prayer is that this book will contribute to a better church and mission preparation as we face these disturbing challenges, and also as we cultivate the same attitude and spirit of Jesus.”
— Allan E. Matamoros, International Director, PM International, Limassol, Cyprus
“Sorrow and Blood takes an unflinching look at the cost of Christian mission in a violent and hostile world. Contributors from around the world tell the awe-inspiring story of missionaries and local believers who have followed their Savior in faithful and sacrificial witness. Theologians help us reflect on the redemptive impact of their suffering for the faith. Advocates advise on how to help without making matters worse. Digesting this epic work will require uncommon fortitude, effort that will be richly rewarded. May God use this volume to rouse his church to take the baton from those who have so valiantly gone before us.”
— Galen Carey, Vice President, Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals,USA