Bearing Witness: Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship

Bearing Witness: Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship


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What does it cost to follow Jesus? For these men and women, the answer was clear. They were ready to give witness to Christ in the face of intense persecution, even if it cost them their lives. From the stoning of Stephen to Nigerian Christians persecuted by Boko Haram today, these stories from around the world and through the ages will inspire greater faithfulness to the way of Jesus, reminding us what costly discipleship looks like in any age.

Since the birth of Christianity, the church has commemorated those who suffered for their faith in Christ. In the Anabaptist tradition especially, stories of the boldness and steadfastness of early Christian and Reformation-era martyrs have been handed down from one generation to the next through books such as Thieleman van Braght’s Martyrs Mirror (1660). Yet the stories of more recent Christian witnesses are often unknown.

Bearing Witness tells the stories of early Christian martyrs Stephen, Polycarp, Justin, Agathonica, Papylus, Carpus, Perpetua, Tharacus, Probus, Andronicus, and Marcellus, followed by radical reformers Jan Hus, Michael and Margaretha Sattler, Weynken Claes, William Tyndale, Jakob and Katharina Hutter, Anna Janz, Dirk Willems. But the bulk of the book focuses on little-known modern witness including Veronika Löhans, Jacob Hochstetler, Gnadenhütten, Joseph and Michael Hofer, Emanuel Swartzendruber, Regina Rosenberg, Eberhard and Emmy Arnold, Johann Kornelius Martens, Ahn Ei Sook, Jakob Rempel, Clarence Jordan, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, Tulio Pedraza, Stanimir Katanic, Samuel Kakesa, Kasai Kapata, Meserete Kristos Church, Sarah Corson, Alexander Men, José Chuquín, Norman Tattersall, Katherine Wu, and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria.

This book is part of the Bearing Witness Stories Project, a collaborative story-gathering project involving Anabaptist believers from many different traditions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780874867046
Publisher: The Plough Publishing House
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Charles E. Moore has compiled and edited several acclaimed books, including Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard, and Everyone Belongs to God: Discovering the Hidden Christ.

Timothy Keiderling is a researcher for the Bearing Witness Stories Project.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part I Early Christians

1 Stephen: Jerusalem (Israel) 3

2 Polycarp: Smyrna (Turkey) 8

3 Justin Martyr: Rome (Italy) 13

4 Agathonica, Papylus, and Carpus: Pergamum (Turkey) 18

5 Perpetua: Carthage (Tunisia) 20

6 Tharacus, Probus, and Andronicus: Cilicia (Turkey) 27

7 Marcellus: Tangiers (Morocco) 33

Part II Radical Reformers

8 Jan Hus: Constance (Germany) 39

9 Michael and Margaretha Sattler: Rottenburg (Germany) 47

10 Weynken Claes: The Hague (Netherlands) 55

11 William Tyndale: Vilvoorde (Belgium) 59

12 Jakob and Katharina Hutter: Innsbruck (Austria) 69

13 Anna Janz: Rotterdam (Netherlands) 75

14 Dirk Willems: Asperen (Netherlands) 79

Part III Early Modern Witnesses

15 Veronika Löhans: St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) 83

16 Jacob Hochstetler: Pennsylvania (United States) 92

17 Gnadenhütten: Ohio (United States) 99

18 Joseph and Michael Hofer: United States 107

19 Emanuel Swartzendruber: United States 116

20 Regina Rosenberg: Russia 120

21 Eberhard and Emmy Arnold: Germany 126

22 Johann Kornelius Martens: USSR (Ukraine) 135

23 Ahn Ei Sook: Korea 140

24 Jakob Rempel: USSR (Russia) 144

Part IV Recent Witnesses

25 Clarence Jordan: United States 151

26 Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand: Romania 160

27 Tulio Pedraza: Colombia 166

28 Stanimir Katanic: Yugoslavia (Croatia) 169

29 Samuel Kakesa: Congo 173

30 Kasai Kapata: Congo 180

31 Meserete Kristos Church: Ethiopia 183

32 Sarah Corson: Bolivia 189

33 Alexander Men: USSR (Russia) 193

34 José Chuquín and Norman Tattersall: Peru 200

35 Katherine Wu: Taiwan 204

36 Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria: Nigeria 206

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 218

Notes on Sources 220

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