Over 30 ex-prisoners for their faith from Iran have received trauma-care training in Turkey, thanks to your prayers and support.
“It was a joy for me to be part of the training,” says former house church leader Wahid, who now pastors a church of 200. “As a former prisoner, I have often felt alone, and thought nobody cared about me. This training proved me wrong.
“In daily life I find it difficult to talk about my time in prison, it’s a horrible story. And, as a leader, it’s a big temptation to pretend you are stronger then you actually are.
“In the training, I met people who went through the same experience as me. We understood each other, and we learned from each other. I cried a lot, but I was also comforted a lot. To heal from my experience is a painful process. Some wounds are healed, others not yet. But, with the experiences and teaching at the training event, I have become stronger as a leader.”
“The training has offered me long-lasting refreshment,” says former house church leader Saman*. “My friends say I have become stronger since I attended the training. I try to apply what I learned. Every day I learn something new.
“I am encouraged that you visit us, that my story is shared, and that people pray for me. You can’t imagine how much it means to me to know that I am not alone in this.”
Please pray for Wahid and Saman, that the Lord will continue the healing process that He has begun in their lives through this training.
Stand with your church family in Iran
Dozens of Iranian Christians are currently imprisoned – they are often charged with being a ‘threat to national security’, when in reality all they are doing is running house churches, and sharing their faith with Muslims from their communities.
Open Doors advocates for those who are imprisoned for their Christian faith in Iran and organises trauma care conferences for former prisoners who now live in Turkey. You can give to support the work of Open Doors in the Middle East.
And you can speak out. On 16 January Open Doors will present the 2019 World Watch List in Parliament, highlighting the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution, including Iran. Please invite your MP and help them to find out what they can do to support international freedom of religion or belief.
*Name changed for security reasons