BOOK REVIEW

“God’s Hostage”, by Andrew Brunson with Craig Borlase

Publication Date: Oct. 15, 2019

Review by Amy Tollison, Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library

In October, 2016 missionary pastor Andrew Brunson and his wife Norine walked into a Turkish police station, expecting to talk about visa issues. Instead, they were arrested and told that they would be deported. They were not deported. After a few days, Norine was released, but Andrew remained in jail. This began a two-year journey of ever greater and more outlandish charges of terrorism and spying. Andrew was moved from a local jail to prison, with his rights stripped away.

Pastor Brunson tells this story in his own words. While his imprisonment was well-known throughout the world, this book gives readers a glimpse inside the prison and inside the mind of the man himself. It is a harrowing story of suffering, of a man continuously on the edge of a complete breakdown. Brunson transparently shares his fear, anxiety and faith struggles.

The book is also a terrifying glimpse into the Turkey of Recep Erdogan. Political intrigue, a puppet judiciary and press, and overcrowded prisons all played a role in the unjust treatment of Andrew Brunson. At this time in Turkey, all it takes is a simple, unfounded accusation from a single witness to find oneself on the wrong side of the legal system.

Still, Pastor Brunson’s story is also one of triumph. He tells of the amazing work that happened on the world stage and behind the scenes to secure his release. Prayers from people of faith all around the world, petitions by world leaders, attorneys from major religious freedom and human rights groups, and continuous pressure from the U.S. government were all directed towards freeing Brunson. In the end, his story is one of victory over injustice as well as over his own doubts and fears.

God’s Hostage is an inspiring and eye-opening account of one man’s journey through religious and political persecution, and a reminder that many Christians throughout the world still suffer for their faith today. Check it out at the library.

NEW LARGE PRINT

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– Descriptions provided by publishers

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