Christian Persecution – A Book the Church Needs to Read

A harrowing report in the Baptist Press last year noted that Nigeria was, at that time, by far the most lethal country for Christians.

According to the article:

The publicly reported Christian casualties in Nigeria last year [2012] were greater than the Christian casualties of Pakistan, Syria, Kenya and Egypt combined. In fact, Nigeria alone accounted for almost 70 per cent of Christians killed globally. This makes Nigeria the most lethal country for Christians by a huge margin.

More recently the unfolding tragedies in Iraq and Syria have led to the slaughter and exile of innumerable Christians. Yet Nigeria remains a killing field for too many believers, and this is the theme of the exciting new thriller from Lela Gilbert, “The Levine Affair: Angel’s Flight.”

Short-term US missionary Nate Gregory was held by Islamic extremists in Nigeria, then rescued by an elite team of commandoes, working for a mysterious Israeli tycoon, David Levine, who is using his wealth to fight the jihad threat.

Nate’s book proposal ends up on the desk of publishing house acquisitions editor Karen Burke, and much of the story is told through her eyes, as she and Nate travel together to Nigeria. There, in several dramatic incidents that confront her with the reality of religious warfare, she is forced into the realisation that her views on the peaceful nature of Islam don’t hold up when extremists are burning down churches and kidnapping women in the name of Allah.

At the same time, she also finds herself becoming increasingly involved with Nate.

The words “ripped from the headlines” have become a cliché, but they describe abundantly this excellent book. It is well researched, well written and features all the drama a reader would want from an international thriller, including, it must be noted, violence and a modicum of (somewhat opaque) sex.

The persecution of Christians around the globe, and particularly in the Muslim world, is an escalating terror. Yet too many Western Christians seem uninformed or, at best, aware but unwilling to do much.

We need more educational resources, in all forms of media, that vividly portray the new reality. That is why novels like “The Levine Affair: Angel’s Flight” serve such an important role. This is a novel that the church needs to read.

* The Levine Affair: Angel’s Flight is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. See an interview with Lela Gilbert here.

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