Jars of Clay Partners With Fleming H. Revell on The Narrow Road

Multi-platinum selling and GRAMMY Award winning band Jars of Clay will be featured in the October 1st book release, The Narrow Road, by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill. Published by Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House, The Narrow Road is a special expanded version of Brother Andrew’s best-selling book, God’s Smuggler, and is specifically written to raise awareness among today’s youth about Christian persecution worldwide.
Jars of Clay will provide a foreword to the book and a multimedia CD with a video of their song, “This Road,” which contains footage of Jars of Clay’s journey to meet with persecuted Christians in Vietnam and China last year. “This Road” was originally part of the Essential Records Dove Award winning project, City On A Hill-Songs of Worship and Praise, which holds special meaning for the band, whose members see it as an anthem of support for Christians everywhere.
Fleming H. Revell chose Jars of Clay for the partnership because of the band’s previous dedication to the Persecuted Church and their ability to connect with a huge youth following. “Brother Andrew’s passion for ministering to the persecuted church is mirrored in the band’s heart for their suffering brothers and sisters around the world,” states Jennifer Leep, Acquisitions Editor for Fleming H. Revell. “This makes them natural companions in the effort to raise awareness of and stimulate involvement with ministry to the worldwide church.”
Jars of Clay members collectively add, “I think kids today are looking for ways they can get involved in a cause greater than themselves. This book is written specifically for youth, to educate a new generation about the persecution their fellow Christians, even Christians their own age, are facing around the world.”
According to an official United States State Department report (1997), some 200 million Christians in over 60 countries face the reality of massacre, rape, torture, mutilation, family division, harassment, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and employment, and even death. Through its work with such organizations as Open Doors International and Prayer for the Persecuted Church (PPC), Jars of Clay has long been committed to helping raise awareness of this terrible epidemic.
Last year, Jars of Clay traveled to Vietnam and China with PPC to experience the stories of today’s persecuted Christians firsthand. While there, the band met with several underground churches and leaders. The members were prompted to sing for their hosts and chose “This Road,” which was originally written as a benediction for the church in the United States. After seeing how the song touched the people on their journey, Jars of Clay realized the universal themes behind the powerful lyrics are really a “benediction for the world,” making it a perfect fit for Brother Andrew’s moving story.
Brother Andrew, the author of God’s Smuggler, has been involved with the persecuted church for almost 50 years. He began his life’s work in Eastern Europe in 1955. At the time, churches had been closed, missionaries were nowhere to be found, and Bibles had been banned. At great personal risk, Brother Andrew began distributing suitcases of Bibles and Christian literature. This work was the beginning of Open Doors International, which is still ministering to persecuted Christians all over the world.
The Narrow Road will be simultaneously released with the 35th anniversary edition of God’s Smuggler, which has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Brother Andrew’s inspiring true story, God’s Smuggler tells of the young Dutch Bible college student’s incredible efforts to transport Bibles across closed borders in a tale the Los Angeles Times calls “a remarkable true document more thrilling than a spy story with its numerous near escapes and mounting climaxes of danger.”
In addition to its involvement with The Narrow Road and their trip to Asia, Jars of Clay has
endeavored to help others remember persecuted Christians around the world through a variety of
efforts. Jars of Clay performed a special concert for the International Day of Prayer for the
Persecuted Church in November and dedicated “This Road” to the Persecuted Church during their
recent nationwide tour. In April, the band performed a free concert in Nashville to help launch
Amnesty International USA’s Annual Meeting. William F. Schulz, Executive Director for
Amnesty International USA, praised Jars of Clay, calling them “a group that has consistently
spoken out on behalf of the disenfranchised, particularly those persecuted for their religious
Jars of Clay is widely known for its hugely successful radio single, “Flood,” from its
multi-platinum1995 self-titled release. Jars of Clay compositions have been featured in such major
studio film release soundtracks as The Long Kiss Goodnight, Hard Rain, Jack Frost, and The
Prince of Egypt. The group’s music has further appeared in several television series, including
“Providence” (NBC) and “One Life To Live” (ABC). With their latest release, the RIAA certified
Gold and GRAMMY Award winning, If I Left the Zoo, the band surpassed sales of 4.5 million
units. In addition, group member Matt Odmark was recently honored as the Best Male Acoustic
Guitarist at the 2001 Orville H. Gibson Awards ceremony, an event considered by many to be the
“Oscars” of the guitar industry. The other nominees in the Best Acoustic Guitarist, Male, category
were Beck, Bon Jovi, and Bob Dylan.
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