Where Mercy Fails

Darfur's Struggle to Survive

Chris Herlinger & Paul Jeffrey Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Mar/2009, 160 Pages, PAPERBACK, 7 x 10

ISBN-13: 9781596271029



This new work provides a graphic and literal context for understanding the current tragedy in Darfur and describes a framework for how people of faith are responding to the crisis.  Jeffrey’s photos depict daily life in the camps, showing both the challenges faced by the displaced, as well as their unguarded moments of joy and hope. The images show the people of Darfur as real, three-dimensional people, subjects of their history, not as objects or victims in an overly simplistic conflict.

The text by Herlinger makes clear that the crisis in Darfur cannot be explained easily, glibly, or in a simplistic fashion. It includes personal stories of those uprooted and currently living in the camps. Additional sections examine the debates surrounding Darfur, including concerns over genocide, the debate over “protection” and “responsibility” by the international community, and the role of activists and religious communities in the ecumenical humanitarian response.



Chris Herlinger’s work for humanitarian groups has included stints for Church World Service (formerly as Senior Writer) and for Episcopal Relief & Development. A New York–based freelance journalist, he has written on humanitarian and international issues for the Christian Century, the Huffington Post, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and National Catholic Reporter. He is a contributing writer to NCR’s Global Sisters Report and his work for Religion News Service has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post.

As a photojournalist for The United Methodist Church, the Rev. Paul Jeffrey has reported from more than eighty countries around the world. Jeffrey lived in Latin America for two tumultuous decades, and continues to focus his attention on how the poor become subjects of their own histories. He blogs at kairosphotos.com.

“I commend Where Mercy Fails as required reading for all caring people who wish to understand this intractable problem and who want to give an informed moral response.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Where Mercy Fails is the best single account of that recent tragic history known to me. These pages document the battle between hope and despair in the lives of two and a half million people in that beleaguered region. To read it is to internalize that battle in one’s own view of our common human nature. Don’t read this book if all you want is more information about these atrocious crimes. Read it instead with determination to join the modern movement to banish genocide from human history. Read it knowing that in this cause we are in for a long haul.” —Donald W. Shriver, Union Theological Seminary, New York, President Emeritus & Grawmeyer Religion Award Winner

“Neither author Chris Herlinger nor photographer Paul Jeffrey could have predicted that their book on Darfur would be published just as events in the Sudanese region hit still another crisis point, with Sudan President Omar Hassan-Al Bashir responding to his arrest warrant by expelling humanitarian aid groups. Where Mercy Fails: Darfur’s Struggle to Survive illuminates both the plight and the resilience of the millions of refugees who have fled in the face of attacks by government forces and militia known as Janjaweed.”  – Publishers Weekly, March 23, 2009


You May Also Like

An American Awakening

Courtney Cowart$24.95

What Can One Person Do?

Sabina Alkire and Edmund Newell$22.95

Why Haven't You Left?

Marc Nikkel, Edited by Grant Le Marquand$22.95

What Size Are God's Shoes

Tim Schenck - Foreword by Barbara Cawthorne Crafton$14.95


Kenneth Leech$19.95

Orgullosamente Episcopal

Andrew Doyle$16.95

Difficult Gospel

Mike Higton$19.95


C. Andrew Doyle$22.95