Christian Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Excerpts

Book Focuses on America's Forces, Faith, and Iraq's Future

  • 2004 21 May
Book Focuses on America's Forces, Faith, and Iraq's Future

The national networks' news reports routinely showcase the death, destruction, and reported animosity of Iraqis directed toward American troops. However, a Christian journalist says there is another, less-publicized side to the war in Iraq.

Sara Horn, a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources Corporate Communications, and Jim Veneman, a photojournalist at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, have documented how Christian servicemen and women are handling the war. Their book, titled "A Greater Freedom: Stories of Faith From Operation Iraqi Freedom" (Broadman & Holman, 2004), is a photo essay about the Christian men and women who risk their lives in Iraq.

Horn, who has ventured twice into combat zones to document the war, says most soldiers serving in Iraq believe the U.S. is doing the right thing. "I know a lot of Christians have mixed feelings about whether we should be over there and wonder, with our troops putting themselves at risk, 'Is it worth it?' And my answer is, I believe it is, just from what I've seen over there," she says.

"And I think the soldiers that we talked to would agree," Horn continues. "They have seen a difference being made in the people's lives there, and I think that's ultimately going to be passed on to America here."

During their time in Iraq, the two civilians had opportunities to talk with many native believers. Horn says she learned that many Iraqi Christians are anxiously awaiting next month's scheduled handover of power and are "extremely worried about what is going to happen with Islam."

In a country where Shiite Muslims make up 65 percent of the population, she says, "they could easily decide to make it an Islamic state." When the writer asked the Iraqi Christians what would happen in that event, she says their immediate response was, "We will have to leave. It will be too dangerous for us to be here."

"A Greater Freedom" documents the experiences of Christian U.S. Navy personnel aboard the aircraft carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman, with whom Horn and Veneman spent time in March 2003, and also describes the events that occurred last November, when they traveled to Baghdad and followed the troops as they went about their military operations.

Retired Marine officer Oliver North served as executive editor for the book. He says it is important for Americans to realize that the view of the troops presented by the mainstream media is not always a reliable perspective. The military expert is critical of the way some of the liberal media are portraying the U.S. fighters to the public.

"Recently the New York Times described [the troops in Iraq] as 'poor kids from Mississippi, Texas, and Alabama, who couldn't get a decent job or health insurance and joined the military because that's all we offered them.' That, my friends, is dead wrong," North says.

© 2004 AgapePress.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.