Discovering ‘the Peace of God’ in the modern world

Discovering ‘the Peace of God’ in the modern world
Finding the Peacemakers: A journey of faith from the mines of Chile to the deserts of the Middle East

by Dan Morrice (Hodder & Stoughton, £14.99)

Anthony Redmond

There is so much in this truly extraordinary book, and it covers so much ground and so many subjects, that I find it difficult to know where to begin discussing it. The author travels extensively in search of himself and of people who have made a positive impact on the lives of others.

He calls them ‘peacemakers’. He interviews some of the brave miners who miraculously survived being trapped in a mine in Chile in 2010, and how their lives have changed all who heard their amazing story.

He talks to a wonderful man from Syria, Karim, who does extraordinary work in Greece helping refugees who come from the horrors of Syria. He visits the families of the 21 young men who were beheaded by Islamic State on a beach in Libya.

He travels to Jerusalem and stands on the Mount of Olives to watch the sunset over the Old City. He talks of his impression of the Temple Mount and the gold roof of the Dome of the Rock as it shimmers in the last rays of sunlight. Dan Morrice is a great writer.

I well remember the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in a mine for 69 days over 2,000 feet below the surface back in 2010. The entire world was gripped by the superhuman effort to rescue them. Words cannot express the relief and joy when all 33 were brought safely to the surface. It was nothing short of a miracle.


One miner, Jose Henriquez, had worked in the mine for 30 years and he was a deeply-religious man with a strong faith in God. He gathered the trapped miners and encouraged them to pray and he helped them to remain calm in the terrible situation.

Dan Morrice went to interview him for this book. He writes: “Jose shared the key to their unity. In their daily prayers, the men would confess their sins and ask God for forgiveness, not just for past regrets, but also for moments of fracture in the mine. ‘I would call them back to one another, make them shake hands, give one another a hug and request to be forgiven. Praying reconciled them to one another.’”


The families of the miners gathered close to the mine praying and comforting one another together with the world’s media. The rescuers worked around the clock trying to drill down to the trapped miners. At any moment the huge rocks blocking their escape could have crashed down on top of them.

After 17 days the drill that was working its way down to the miners came back up and a torn and dirt covered note was found attached to it which read, “We are all well, the thirty-three.”

Dan Morrice writes: “The sheer rawness of human emotion was captured by the cameras in a moment of unhinged euphoria. Grown men dropped to the sand weeping with joy, drilling crews embraced each other like brothers returning from battle, technicians raced down the hill to the waiting families who were camped out in the desert, and the shock of beautiful news rippled out to the watching world. Against all the odds, the lost had been found.”

It was 69 days before they finally escaped the terrifying mine. They all said that they felt God’s caring presence with them all the time and they referred to themselves as the “34 miners”. Jesus was the 34th miner.

The author goes on separately to discuss the persecution of Christians in the world. He writes: “The growing persecution of Christians across the globe has long been hidden in the media, but now it seems it’s getting harder to avoid”.

Last year, 245 million Christians experienced ‘high levels’ of persecution, and eleven Christians are killed for their faith every day…The Spectator in London called it: “The unreported catastrophe of our time”, and former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sachs, told the House of Lords that the persecution of Christians across the world is a “crime against humanity”, before adding, “I’m appalled at the lack of protest it has evoked”.

We are reminded of the horror of Islamic State and its sheer sadism and savagery. The author talks about the cold-blooded murder of 21 Egyptian workers on a beach in Libya, 20 of them Coptic Christians and one Christian worker with them from Ghana. He interviewed their families who are all devout Christians devoid of hatred or feelings of revenge.

They rightly regard those murdered for their faith as martyrs. The workers were asked by the Islamists to renounce their Christian faith but they all refused. As they were beheaded they each uttered the words, “Ya Rabbi Yassou! Oh, my Lord Jesus”. What extraordinary heroism and courage.


In discussing the resurrection and its effect on Jesus’ disciples, Dan Morrice talks about their terror after the crucifixion.

What was it that totally changed and inspired the disciples to be willing to give up their lives to proclaim the Gospels and Jesus’ message? He quotes the writer, Philip Yancy on the effect of Jesus post-resurrection on the disciples: “The eleven men who had deserted him at death now went to martyrs’ graves avowing their faith in a resurrected Christ…This remarkable sequence of transformation offers the most convincing evidence for the resurrection. What else explains the whiplash change in men known for their cowardice and instability?”

This is quite simply a fascinating, absorbing, and spiritually uplifting book.