Johnnie Moore, an author, speaker, and acclaimed human rights and religious freedom activist, says there was a time when "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" it was a staple in every Christian home.
"For most of Christian history, so much of the discipleship experience involved two books," he tells AFN. "It involved the Bible, and it involved the 'Foxe's Book of Martyrs.'"
So he and Jerry Pattengale, a founding scholar of Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, are updating and reissuing the book, now titled "The New Book of Christian Martyrs." He says an update is way overdue and has never been timelier.
"We are living at maybe the height of Christian martyrdom in Christian history," Moore asserts. "Believe it or not, we've had more persecution of Christians in the last century than all the previous centuries combined, but the majority of that has been in, basically, the last 20 or 30 years."
Most of the deaths are occurring in Western Africa at the hands of groups like Boko Haram. Communist governments like those of China and North Korea are also primary culprits.
Moore is keen to tell the story of the persecuted Church, which is faring like the Church has always done in times of stress. He hopes the new edition will strengthen the faith of American believers and inspire them to stand up to the far less intense persecution they face in the states.
"Every time people try to smash the testimony of Christians all around the world, the invisible Church continues to grow," he says.
The new book is due for release on March 7th.