“I need Jesus. Without Jesus I had no life, no hope. I can’t live without him for one moment. None of us can.”
Wahid is from Iran. Like for many of us, his teenage years were hard. He struggled with depression after his parents split up. That was when he became a Christian.
“I had always thought that my circumstances had to change for me to lose my depression. But when I found Jesus I realised that I needed someone to change me from the inside to feel at peace; I needed Jesus.”
Since his choice to become a Christian his family have rejected him. He led a small house church in Iran, and even though they only met together rarely, a secret gathering was raided by the police and he spent time in prison for his faith. In prison, despite being told not to, he would share the gospel.
Wahid now leads a church in Turkey. He’s recently taken part in some Open Doors training – he’s a proper legend. Reports suggest that many Muslims in Iran are coming to know Jesus. Despite the efforts of the government to clamp down, bold and courageous Christians like Wahid are showing God’s love and hope. Amazing.
Iran is ranked at number 9 on the 2019 World Watch List – a ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the worst persecution. There are 800,000 Christians in Iran – a tiny minority. Christianity is seen as a Western influence and a threat to the country. All ethnic Persians are seen as Muslims. It is illegal to produce Christian literature or hold church services in their language, Farsi. If an ethnic Persian leaves Islam they can be punished with the death penalty – although they are more likely to be imprisoned for ‘crimes against national security’. So, believers from Muslim backgrounds keep their faith secret. Secret house churches are monitored and frequently raided, and dozens of Christians are imprisoned in appalling conditions.
Thank God for Wahid and the many pastors still in Iran sharing about Jesus.
Pray this prayer:
Lord Jesus, we lift to you our persecuted family in Iran. May Your tangible presence surround those who are imprisoned for their faith and give them courage to continue to witness for You. Stir the hearts of those in government and authority, that they would allow for more freedom of religion, and comfort and provide for those who have been rejected by their families and communities.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.