Sep 2015

A Testimony of Persecution

Hello Christian brothers and sisters. A few days ago, I read the testimony of a brother named Jamshid that I like to share it with you.

Jamshid had written in his testimony:
"Ten years ago I became familiar with Christ and I felt that this religion can comfort me and make me a better person. Before believing in Christ, I was a very wicked and liar person and when I became a Christian, while I was the Ministry of Defense employee, I did anything wrong such as forging the seal and document but after believing in Christ, I completely changed and my family was surprised by the changes in my behavior because I had become very kind and I did not lie anymore and I did not do anything wrong. However, I did not talk about Christianity.

After I became a Christian, I encountered a lot of problems. I lost my job and also I could not marry a girl whom I loved.

I went to the building church and did not have any problem at workplace until the government announced to the church authorities to give the National ID Card numbers of people who participated in the church ceremonies. The pastor told me that he was able not to do it, but I could not participate in some of the church ceremonies. But I told that there was no reason to lie, and I gave them my National ID Card number and wanted to give it.

Two days later, after I gave the National ID Card number, I was expelled. When I entered the workplace and wanted to punch my timecard, I found that my timecard did not work. When I asked its reason, I was told that I had summoned by the head of office. When I went before him, he told me: "you know what has happened and why you have expelled. Since you have been a good employee and have always had just good behavior, I gave you two hours to take your belongings and go." When I asked the reason, he did not say anything. He just said: "just know that I did you a favor." He said just this, and I went.

Now, I have changed my job and I work in a jewellery store. I am satisfied with my situation and I do not regret what I've done because it makes me to feel comfortable in my life.

I am very lucky that I just lost my job and was not arrested. Because after announcing the National ID Card numbers of members by the church, some of them were arrested and sent to prison by the court order or were forced to leave the country. However, the government did not stop and then closed the churches!"

Hesam

Hello dear believer sisters and brothers. My name is Hesam. I'm 54 years old and I believed in Christ many years ago as a teenager. My wife and two sons are also believers and we all serve Christ.

Over the years of believing in Christ, I faced many problems. We are the members of one of the churches in Tehran and we served in the church. Then, we went to the south of the country to serve and lived there for many years. Despite many persecutions and hardships for me and my family, the years of serving in the South were the most blessed years of our lives.

We went to a small city in the south of the country. People in the city were very religious and superstitious. For years, our church meetings were held in a place where no one could believe! Our meetings were held in one of the classes of an apartment in a military area in which the military security and protection was very high! Although there were fears, but the enthusiasm of believers made my wife and I more interested to serve, and God flowed the great blessings. My wife and I believed that the only reason why any officers were not noticed that we had the church meetings in the area for several years was that God himself had put us under his protection and did not allow anyone to see us!

After several years when the believers grew in the Word of God and their number increased every day, one day, the officers entered our house and arrested me and took me!!! My family did not know where I was until one month and I was not allowed to call them. I was in a dirty solitary cell for three months. I was interrogated and tortured every day, and I was wanted to give information about the group members and the believers with whom I had relationship! I was also wanted to deny Christ and become a Muslim. In all those days when I was in solitary cell, God gave me peace and spoke with my heart and I had given my family and myself to Christ, although I was under pressure emotionally and did not know anything about my wife and young children. God revealed it for me that He intended another service for me and that's why he allowed me to be arrested and imprisoned!

After three months in solitary cell, I was brought to the court and was sentenced to life imprisonment! The sentence was very shocking to me! I did not know why God allowed me to be sentenced to life imprisonment! Then I was taken to the worst part of prison!!! The part was for people who were sentenced to execution and death and were executed within a few days after entering this part of prison!!! In the part of the prison, there were people who had no hope in life! The persons who were thief, rapist, murderer, professional criminal and drug dealer! Persons who had never heard about God's love and were not experienced the love! At that moment I realized what God's plan was for me and what service he intended for me! God wanted to reveal his love in that prison among those disappointed persons!

I well remember that just after me, a person entered the same part of prison who was supposed to be executed two days later. He was a murderer and drug dealer! He asked me why I was there and I told him in response: "because God has given me a message for you that I tell you that God loves you very much!" As soon as I said it, he who seemed very tough began to cry! I was very surprised! He said: "is it possible? What God can have with a sinner man like me! Not only I've never done anything for God, but I have sinned so much and misled many people! Such a thing is impossible!" I told him: "yes, God wants to save you and gave me the message to tell to you! Then, I talked to him about Christ and his salvation! He said that it was not possible that God forgave his sins because he did not have any chance to compensate his mistakes, but when I told him about two men who were crucified with Christ, he knelt and believed in Christ! He was executed two days later, but he was saved.

At the time when I was in prison, my family was very annoyed. No believers could communicate with my family because they were highly controlled and also it was announce that everyone who communicated with my family would be arrested! My wife and two young children spent very difficult times. Finally, by many efforts of lawyers and some church members who indirectly followed my case, my life imprisonment became three years of imprisonment and I was released from the prison three years later! After that, I was arrested several times, but I was never imprisoned again.

I believe that although there are these persecutions in Iran, but in most of the time God wants to use these persecutions for the growth of the church in Iran.

Mahsa

Hello Christian brothers and sisters. My name is Mahsa. I'm thirty-two years old and I believed in Christ six years ago and today I want to share with you the story of my faith.

I lost my father in a car accident when I was ten years old, and it was very hard for me to understand this event and I always regretted for not having a father. I was one-child and I felt very lonely and lack of having father, sister and brother had led me to be so dependent on my mother.

My mother was a very kind and religious woman and although we did not have a good financial situation, she worked hard to provide all my needs not to feel the shortage. She always told me that my father has gone before God and we would go before him one day and also told me to be able to go before him, I should observe the commandments of God. She taught me the principles of Islam and I observed all of them. I always performed namaz on time and always fast and performed everything related to Islam that performing it was necessary. In fact, since I was always afraid that one day I lost my mother and I lived with this fear, I performed those and always prayed that instead God would keep my mother healthy and take care of her.

When I reached to the age of twenty-five years old, I decided to go to Islamic theological school to be able to establish a better relationship with God. I felt that I had a very good relationship with God and God would take care of my mother because of my good deeds. It was for sometime when my mother was ill and felt a pain and numbness in her hands and feet and gradually these troubles increased and she walked hardly. I was very upset and I could not stand my mother's pain and illness at all. When we went before doctor, after several tests the doctor said that my mother was suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) and her disease was acute and there was no hope for her healing.

Such an issue was unbearable for me and I could not believe that she had such a disease and I cried constantly and prayed to God to heal her. My mother was also very depressed and desperate and cried. I told God that if He took my mother of me, I would kill myself because I could not live without her.

We lived in an apartment. One of our neighbors who had noticed that my mother was ill told my mother to go her house not to be alone when I went to the theological school, and my mother went her house three days a week. About one year passed from this event and I had noticed that my mother's mood had changed and she was very happy despite her disease and constantly told me to hope to God and not to be disappointed. Also, I had noticed that she did not perform namaz and I thought that it was due to decreasing the ability of her body and told her that she could perform namaz in a sitting position, but she said that she could not do it and I did not insist further.

My mother's illness had worsened and I was very nervous. One day, my mother wanted me to go with her to the house of our neighbor. When we went to the house of our neighbor and I thanked her and her husband named Saeed for caring my mother in my absence, Saeed said that we have done just thing that if Christ was here did the same. I was surprised and asked what he meant and he said that they were Christians and began to talk about Christ and his healings. In the meantime, my mother began to talk and said that she believed that Christ could heal her and believed in the truthfulness of Christ.

I could not believe it and began to shout at them and said that they have misled my mother and led God to be angry with her, and her disease had worsened. I told them that if something happened to her, I would kill myself and they were blamed. Saeed said: "now it is one year that we pray for your mother and your mother has believed in Christ. You can study about Christ and undoubtedly you will believe too." I became very angry and left their house.

When I talked about this with one of my friends in the theological school, she told me to tell them that I would try Christ one week and if Christ did not heal my mother, I would kill myself. She said: "undoubtedly, Christ will not heal your mother and thus you can prove to them that Christ is a liar and their faith is wrong and so they will become Muslim." I did the same things and Saeed said: "it is not true to try God, but if you think this way, you will do it."

I never forget a moment when I saw my mother walked in the house. Just the next morning after the day when I told Saeed it, I saw my mother came into my room and told me that Christ has healed her. She walked easily and there was no trace of illness in her! When we went before the doctor, the doctor said that it was so strange and just a healing could be occurred! I did not say anything and I knelt and said that Christ healed my mother!

The event led my friend to believe in Christ! I regretted for trying God, but I thanked God for healing my mother and saving me! Unfortunately, there are many people who abuse the simplicity of others and try to promote Islam by destroying the Christianity, but they do not know that our God is the living God.