Winner of the ECPA Book Award
Journey alongside Persecuted Christians
Take a 40-day journey to meet brothers and sisters who share in the sufferings of Christ. When Faith Is Forbidden takes you to meet a Chinese Christian woman who called six months in prison "a wonderful time," an Iraqi pastor and his wife just eight days after assassins' bullets ripped into his flesh, and others from our spiritual family who've suffered greatly for wearing the name of Christ. Each stop on this 40-day journey includes inspiration and encouragement through the story of a persecuted believer. You'll also find space for reflection and a suggested prayer as you grow to understand the realities of living under persecution—and learn from the examples of the bold believers you'll meet.
For more than 20 years, Todd Nettleton (host of The Voice of the Martyrs Radio) has traveled the world to interview hundreds of Christians who've been persecuted for the name of Christ. Now he opens his memory bank—and even his personal journals—to take you along to meet bold believers who will inspire you to a deeper walk with Christ.
Praise for When Faith Is Forbidden
"During my two years imprisoned in Turkey, one of the things that strengthened me was looking to the example of others who persevered faithfully through persecution. There is a long line of people who have suffered for Jesus Christ. Some struggle more than others—I certainly did—but in the end what matters is to stand. Stories like the ones Todd has collected in this book are of great value as we prepare ourselves in case we are called on to stand in that long line—and I believe it is a matter of great urgency that we indeed prepare."
—PASTOR ANDREW BRUNSON
Former prisoner for Christ in Turkey
"It was with a great deal of anticipation that I read When Faith Is Forbidden. It did not disappoint. His book removes the reader from that of an observer who stands comfortably outside of the lives of persecuted believers. This book moves us from a place of pity for those who suffer for expressing their faith in the marketplace to an active stance of true partnership. Todd invites the reader inside the narrative by shining a light on believers for whom persecution is normal. His written prayers, wedded to these very personal accounts, offer opportunities for personal reflection and growth. Significantly, the reader is encouraged to capture and record their own thoughts as persecuted believers lead us into a life of faith where witness and persecution are twins. I pray that readers will use this book to enhance their service for Jesus. When Faith Is Forbidden is a God-sent gift for families who are looking for a devotional aide that will enrich times of family worship."
Mission veteran of 35 years; author of The Insanity of God
"When believers in the West sing "I have decided to follow Jesus," we rarely consider what the cost of that commitment might be. But for many Christ-followers around the globe, that decision could cost them their lives. It's imperative we hear the stories of the persecuted church. It provides us with the precious privilege of praying for our brothers and sisters and it sweeps away the cobwebs of complacency in the Western church. Get your passport, fasten your seatbelts, and travel with Todd to get a global perspective of what it means to follow Jesus. Your faith will never be the same again."
Author and nationally syndicated talk show host
"As a leader in the Middle East I have firsthand experience of seeing Todd taking a story about persecution and being able to conceptualize it for broad audiences to understand and engage. I have personally known him for over a decade and he has been recording our stories for years and even used a few in this beautiful book. Every time I read Todd's stories I am inspired and lit on fire once again to suffer well in the persecuted world. I am thankful for how he has given his life to documenting stories like these because they will not only touch you, but they will allow the Holy Spirit to start a beautiful work in your life. How can you light your faith on fire in the slumber of North America? How can you overcome the spirit of apathy? I believe his book will give you hope and fire to fulfill the call in your life."
—ANONYMOUS CHURCH LEADER IN THE MIDDLE EAST
"The stories you are about to encounter are of contemporary heroes of the faith—those willing to die for rather than deny Christ. May they encourage, inspire, and challenge your faith. Todd, thank you for taking us on a journey of learning about the faith of our persecuted brothers and sisters."
Director, Wheaton College Billy Graham Center
"Todd's latest book When Faith Is Forbidden is truly inspiring and transformative. In nearly two decades of field ministry among the persecuted part of the body of Christ, Todd has lived among and sometimes through them. It's also transformative because these stories are not just testimonies, but more importantly they show that God gives life, smiles, and joy, even when His persecuted faithful are suffering because they do not conform to the world. Every Christian who desires to live a godly life in Jesus should read this book."
Founder and President, China Aid Association
Former prisoner for Christ in China
"I have known Todd Nettleton for many years—and he can tell a story! What better stories for us to hear than those of triumphant saints during our lifetime. Thanks to Todd, these "victory stories" are no longer unknown. They are brilliant, and they have moved me to PRAY!"
Ethnos360 missionary, author of In the Presence of My Enemies
"While reading When Faith Is Forbidden, I felt like I was walking on holy ground. The stories in this riveting book take you deep into the heart of some of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians to live in. But the overcomers that Todd Nettleton writes about don't merely survive in persecution, they thrive in it. Christ has been so formed in them they have become an unstoppable force for the kingdom of God. Thank you, Todd, for taking us on this thrilling forty-day journey! I love this book and highly recommend it. How inspired I was to meet these brothers and sisters who are more than willing to suffer and give their very lives for Jesus. Our Savior is amazing and so are these saints who follow Him no matter the cost!"
Uncharted Ministries CEO and coauthor with JoAnn Doyle of Women Who Risk: Secret Agents for Jesus in the Muslim World
"I believe that the Lord has uniquely positioned and commissioned Todd to write this book. The Bible tells us that the persecution will increase as we approach the end times—yes, even in Western countries such as the USA. As a matter of fact, it has already started. So for us living in the West, the story-based devotionals in this book not only strengthen our faith to walk more closely with the Lord, but they also prepare us to respond properly to the persecution some of us are facing today (2 Tim. 3:12), and all of us will face tomorrow (Matt. 24:9)."
"Connecting the dots between current events, people who are nameless and faceless, and your heart can be difficult. Even hearing stories of the persecuted church, while sympathetic, our hearts are not pierced. We often sing "break my heart for what breaks Yours" in worship, but do we understand what that means? Reading through When Faith Is Forbidden will take you through a journey that might do that. The stories remind us of who God is and what He is doing through the chaos around the world; they will remind us of our state of Body, all the while revealing God's fingerprints in our own lives. If nothing else, be encouraged by what's happening worldwide because these stories reveal the wind is blowing change to all corners. You'll be challenged to pray, not only by these stories but also by Todd Nettleton's reflections, as well as your own. This project could be "The Faith Challenge." I don't think you'll come out of it the same person you were when you went in if you wholeheartedly participate over the next forty days in prayer."
Executive Producer and anchor of Mission Network News
"For Jesus, for the apostles, for the church triumphant and at rest, for the church militant and missionary, and for our brothers and sisters around the world . . . suffering always precedes glory. The cross-less, pain-less, suffering-less Christianity the West has (off and on) experienced for the last three hundred years is an extended aberration that is soon coming to an end. When Faith Is Forbidden reminds us both of what is normal Christianity and what is our common future in these last days before our Lord Jesus returns."
Cofounder of the Live Dead Movement, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
"As a family, we remember the persecuted in prayer as often as possible, understanding the biblical truth that when one part of the body suffers, we are called to suffer with them. Now, in the pages of this book, we have the unique opportunity to meet them! Travel with Todd to China, the Middle East, Africa, and other places, and sit down with Christians who joyfully sacrifice everything to follow Christ. The stories of their faith will challenge your faith. Take this 40-day journey to meet and be inspired by other members of our spiritual family."
Author, activist, former NFL tight end