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God is my rock

Taher and his family were secret believers in a closed country in the Middle East. When their faith was discovered, Taher was arrested and ruthlessly interrogated by the secret police – but he refused to give up the names of fellow believers. Here’s his story.

When the man came to Taher and Donya’s door, only Donya, his wife was in. The man said he was a postal worker. Donya knew he wasn’t, but by then it was too late.

“When I opened the door, he put his foot down so I couldn’t close it,” she remembers. He was from the secret police. And others were behind him. They ruthlessly ransacked the home shared by Taher, Donya and their daughters Farah and Arezoo (all names changed for security reasons). They were looking for any evidence of the family’s Christian faith.

Watch Taher’s story now…

Taher was arrested and spent time in prison, where he was questioned and threatened. The secret service eventually released Taher on bail. During his sentencing, Taher was given one condition for his release: that he stop telling other people about Jesus. The judge told Taher that he wouldn’t get such leniency a second time – that, if he were arrested again, he would be executed.

You might have read about the early the apostles’ miraculous escape from prison in Acts 5. Peter and others had been arrested and put in the public jail – “But during the night, an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out” (Acts 5:19). As soon as they were released, the apostles once again began preaching about Jesus in the temple courts. When he was challenged, Peter said “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29).

Taher’s response was exactly the same. What did he do when he was released by the judge? “I went back home and started ministering and evangelising again,” he says. Amazingly, he has also forgiven the interrogators who persecuted him so relentlessly: “The time that I had with Jesus in prison was the real freedom for me.”

Pray now…

  • That all secret believers would know that they are not alone, and that God would enable them to find fellowship and discipleship
  • For Christian refugees to find safety, community and hope
  • That Open Doors fieldworkers would be equipped to serve secret and isolated believers in the Middle East.

Learn more…

Want to respond and help your persecuted family around the world? Get our World Watch List prayer map and resources to learn more and pray regularly.

*Name changed for security reasons…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.