Monday, April 28, 2014

BookPastor >> "Circumcised Heart" (Hilmy Nor)

TITLE: Circumcised Heart
AUTHOR: Hilmy Nor
PUBLISHER: KL: Kairos Research Center, 1999, (102 pages).

This is a story of a courageous man (A Malay Muslim who embraced the Christian faith in Malaysia) who despite the odds, is able to remain faithful to the calling he had felt given by God. It is a story of how Nor gradually grows from fear to faith. As a successful marketing executive with Shell Petroleum company, a huge multinational corporation in Malaysia, the author shares about how his step of faith to embrace Christianity resulted in so many different kinds of persecutions and prosecutions. With one blatant expression of faith, he becomes a target by religious authorities in Malaysia. He was jailed for 14 months for his faith under the charge of being a threat to the internal security of the country. His career suffered a premature end. Instead of giving in to the accusations and charges of Operation Lallang, he remained steadfast to the end. Eventually upon release, in 1997 he headed to Regent College in Canada to study theology, ten years after he was arrested, humiliated, tortured, and jailed in a Malaysian prison. Instead of being squashed, his faith grew. Instead of harbouring bitterness for the guards who humiliated him, he extends love and prayed for them. Instead of becoming down and out, he learns to look up to God. Instead of stopping his involvement in the Christian Church scene, he went into full time ministry. This is a story of how faith in a Muslim country does not come easy especially during the fateful year in 1987.

This book shows us that we cannot take faith for granted. We cannot assume that the freedom we have now will remain unchanged. We need to pray for our persecuted brethren all over the world, both known and unknown. For with every one story told and published like this, there are countless others that remain unseen, unnoticed, unpublished and unknown. For such, the plain comfort is this: God knows. Lest readers begin to point fingers at authorities or powers around Nor, note that the author emphatically writes:

"This book is not about external power plays, nor rights, nor negotiations, nor justice. This book is about what happens inside an ordinary man when suddenly he is confined, cut off from everyday life, and bereft of all that is dear. It is about growth of a human spirit through the grace of God." (3)

Read this book to learn about how despite intense persecutions, the author is able to go through it all with his faith tested but remained intact to this day.


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