Daughters of Hope (Stories of Witness and Courage in the Face of Persecution)

by Glen H. Jones


Christians who faithfully attend church every week in comfortable buildings, unhampered by political authority are in for a shock when they read this book. Strom and Rickett recount the trials and persecutions of women in oppressive societies. Some of the stories are almost beyond belief; one can only wonder how human beings can be so cruel to others.

In India, Dalits (Untouchables) have long been the object of scorn and discrimination. The Indian government has adopted a type of affirmative action to address the oppression of Dalits, one-third of India's population. These benefits are available to every religion in India except Christians. Christians are considered a threat to Hinduism because they teach that every person is precious in God's sight. "Since 1990 more Christians have been martyred, raped, beaten and threatened in India than in the entire history of Christianity in that country" (p. 25).

Christians makes up only 4 percent of China's population. Churches have to be registered with the government; in most cases it is very risky to the gospel in these churches. Many believers (mostly women) worship in house churches. They must worship secretly for fear of the government. Those who are caught can be evicted from their homes, lose their jobs, or be thrown into prison.

Habiba, an Egyptian who converted to Christ, had her Muslim name along with her new Christian name published in the newspaper. She had to leave the church and go into hiding with her children because of death threats. In many ways, Christians are considered second-class citizens in Egypt, but often a Christian is chosen when a trustworthy person is needed to perform a job.

Indonesia in theory guarantees its citizens the right to follow any religion they choose. But in reality this country, with its 88 percent Islamic population, is a dangerous place for Christians. The stated aim of Muslims is to eliminate Christians from countries they control.

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