Upcoming AFP Release – Syria Crucified: Stories of Modern Martyrdom in an Ancient Christian Land

Copy of Syria Crucified in front of map of Middle East

Introducing a new book release by Ancient Faith Publishing, set for availability in November 2021: Syria Crucified: Stories of Modern Martyrdom in an Ancient Christian Land is written by Orthodox Christian authors Zachary Wingerd and Brad Hoff, and importantly is the first ever book to detail the plight of Syria’s Christians during the past ten years of tragic war.

The Liturgy of St. Basil includes a prayer that the Lord deliver us from the calamities of “famine, plague… fire, sword, invasion by enemies, and civil war.” The Orthodox Church of Antioch, as well as its sons and daughters, are living through such a disastrous reality, and the urgency of their continued suffering even as the war has largely fallen out of media headlines drives the vision and message of this book.

Currently, Syria’s Christians are under continued threat of eradication from their homeland as prior years of coming under direct attack have more recently turned to a dire situation of slow-grinding economic strangulation which has made ‘daily life’ an immense struggle. And yet Syrian Christian sufferings have been generally met with apathy and misunderstanding in the West, an attitude often driven by ignorance coupled with false assumptions about the crisis perpetuated by the media.

Syria Crucified is an engaging compilation of personal stories representing Orthodox Christian experiences, including eyewitness accounts of martyrdom, deepening prayer amid persecution, as well as lives of Syrians who are modern “living confessors” of Christ.

The book includes accounts and stories which have never before been revealed – harrowing episodes of young Christians dodging bullets on their way to school, monks and nuns huddling in prayer as fanatical armed insurgents surround their monasteries, priests and bishops heroically traveling the war-torn countryside to ransom their parishioners, and details of the plight of the last Christians of Idlib and the unbelievable journey of their kidnapped priest, Fr. Ibrahim.

The narrative is also replete with accounts of hope for the future. As co-author and journalist Brad Hoff witnessed when he traveled to Damascus at the height of the war, scenes of packed churches and public Christian festivals are emerging once again in the heart of the Middle East. Syrians are rebuilding their communities, and the Orthodox Church is engaged in intense missionary outreach as a peacemaker and healing presence to all people. This book details some of these heroic endeavors.

“These stories are personal reflections of what it means to be a Christian in the modern Middle East,” states co-author Zac Wingerd, Senior Lecturer in History at Baylor University. “They illustrate the prospect for the Church’s survival on the very soil that witnessed the preaching of the original apostles and the presence of the Lord Himself.”

Look for this upcoming release at the Ancient Faith Store, Amazon, and a bookstore near you.

About Melinda Johnson

Melinda Johnson is an Orthodox Christian, wife, mama, writer, and the author of Letters to Saint Lydia (AFP 2010) and the Sam and Saucer books (AFP), among others. Melinda has a Master’s in English Literature because she loved taking literature classes so much she couldn’t stop doing it. When she is not seeing “heaven in a wildflower,” Melinda enjoys writing for children, walking and talking, and baking bread.

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