Monday, April 11, 2016

They Say We Are Infidels by Mindy Belz - a book review

I enjoy reviewing books based on today's hot topics but at the same time infusing a strong Christian faith throughout the story line. When I received They Say We Are Infidels by Mindy Belz through Tyndale House Publishing, I had mixed feelings about reading it. While curious about the stories I knew would be included in the book, I didn't know if I really wanted to put detailed stories with specific names into my mind. It was somehow easier to listen to news reports and focus on the tragedies and events they published without knowing all the details...without grasping the fact that these were real people with real families, hopes and dreams. I'm not a big watcher of world news but any time anything involves ISIS, I can't help but find myself paying attention. ISIS has gained media attention because of the horrible atrocities they've inflicted on Christians and even their name causes fear to rise in hearts whether they are Christian or non-Christian.

Mindy Belz, in her book, reports on true life events but her perspective is not from the outside looking in, she's on the inside. She talks to those who've experienced ISIS face to face. She makes a point to listen and gather information but also to allow herself to become part of the victim's lives. She travels through ISIS territory with the help of insiders. She understands the danger and respects the culture. She knows this is real.

In the book, Ms. Belz tells the story of a young mother who was in labor with her first child as ISIS began to attack. At the hospital, her doctor was afraid to wait for her to deliver naturally and ordered a Cesarean section. This mother was Christian. This baby was going to be born to Christian parents. As soon as the baby was born, barely four hours after his mother had been through a C-section, they were sent on their way to join other families trying to escape the terror on foot. Similar stories of faith are given throughout the book by Mindy Belz as she shares real life events and real life stories of Christians living in Iraq, Kurdistan, and other predominately Muslim areas.

I enjoyed the way Ms. Belz used such description in her writing that I felt like I was right there with her. I could almost feel the Iraqi heat and desert sands blowing against my face. I could envision the women in their dark Burkas and the feeling of danger always present.

Mindy Belz weaves the history of the Jewish people in with her story of the Muslim peoples and I found that to be very interesting. Instead of making her book all about Iraq and ISIS, she made sure to include Scripture from the Bible and discuss Jewish tradition and heritage.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand more about the Middle East and the plight of the Christians there. I would also recommend it to those wishing to gain more insight and understanding of how the ISIS system works. By understanding more about the inner workings of ISIS, Ms. Belz helps remove some of the terror we associate with the ISIS rebels.

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishing for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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