Book Review: Stranger No More

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Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus by Annahita Parsan shares the true story of her “path from oppression to the life-changing hope of Jesus. Fleeing Iran across the mountains into Turkey, she spent months in the terrifying Agri prison before a miraculous release and flight to Europe, where she and her two children knelt in a church and prayed, “God, from this day on we are Christians.””

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

This incredible book was difficult for me to put down. Though this was a very emotionally challenging read, it is one I am grateful I had the opportunity to experience. The story was both engaging and inspiring. Beyond the content, I thought the way the story was presented was also very good. It was well-written and very much embraced “show, don’t tell.” I also admire that despite her struggles at the hands of Muslims, she never insulted her former religion or attacked the religion itself.

I want to address something I noticed in other reviews: the criticism of how Parsan became a Christian. I understand that people may be concerned because it does seem like her faith is more influenced by answered prayers, miracles and dreams, but there are two things I think we need to consider:

  1. This book is not meant as a step-by-step guide on how to convert Muslims, nor is it advocating for a one-size-fits-all approach to how people find Christ; this is her personal experience. There are also aspects she didn’t cover like all her studying in college, conversations she may have had, what she uncovered in Scripture, etc. We shouldn’t make assumptions about her faith journey without knowing the full story.
  2. Many of us readers have the privilege of never having experienced the immense suffering she did. Her circumstances were extraordinary so it makes sense that God would work in extraordinary ways.

 

Though there were some phrases that seemed off or seemed like some words got jumbled, overall, it was an incredible read. That being said, I do want to caution readers that this book does contain mentions of domestic violence and sexual assault. Consequently, though I would highly recommend this book, I do recognize that this book could be triggering to some readers.

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