I’m a Kurd from Iran. All of my family has been on Haaji, so they are very religious. I fought with my family all the time because I wouldn’t go to the mosque. My dad would tell me that I was like Noah’s son who wouldn’t come to God. So that’s why I separated from my family.
My family was part of a political (and religious) group that believes that Iran should have freedom and that Kurdistan should be a separate country.
Four years ago, the Iranian religious police came to our house, started shooting at us, and completely destroyed our house. There were no windows or doors left, and they took everything we had in the house. One of my uncles was shot. He had been in jail for six years, and had just gotten out of jail when this happened. After these problems, the government asked my uncle to work for them, but he wouldn’t accept. So he left for Iraq.
Before this happened, I was just part of the group to support my uncle, but after this I became much more involved in the group because of what the government had done to us. I started going to the judges to petition them to hold the government responsible for destroying our house. I told them that I was not involved with the group, but my uncle was. Instead, they charged me with crimes, and told me I was not allowed to go back to my own city. They laughed at me when I asked why I couldn’t go back, but they just mocked me. Then I found out that they were playing with me, that they wouldn’t help me get justice.
This is only one example of the reasons I had to leave Iran. The government kept bringing charges against me. If I told you all the things that happened to me during that time, it would fill a whole book. The government kept looking for any reason to lock me away forever. Because the government was against me, many other people took a dislike to me, and I had to carry a knife around with me to defend myself. My situation was like a container of petrol, just waiting for someone to light a match.
I left Iran with my passport, but at the border I just gave them a lot of money to let me into Turkey. I stayed in Turkey for three months. It was a really bad winter. I stayed in a smuggler’s house. My goal was to go to Bulgaria, because it’s easier to get to the rest of Europe from there. But since it was so cold and there was a way to leave, a group of us decided to come to Greece.
On the way from Turkey to Greece, I had to go through a river. While I walked through the river, I said “I give all of my past to this river, and begin to live a new life now.”
I came to Athens, and became very sick. I was taken to a hospital, and in the hospital many people came to visit me. They didn’t care that I was not from the same town or even the same country as them. They offered me many things, and I never had to pay for medicine or anything in the hospital. One thing came to my mind, that they are Christian,
and that is the reason they are helping me. In Turkey they were Moslem, but they never helped me.
I heard in the park that there was a place that gave out food. So I came to Helping Hands. I saw Nader, who was speaking about the gospel. I decided to come one Sunday to the Persian Christian Fellowship. I thought, “all those years I fought against my father about the Moslem faith, but now I should find out what Christians believe.” Nader said that Jesus is the Son of God, and I thought it was blasphemy to say that man became God.
But it was a big question in my mind, what happened when Jesus was born? I thought that either Mary was adulterous, or it was a miracle. Then I read the entire life of Jesus, and I found out that not only was his birth a miracle, but his death and resurrection were miracles too.
I came to the conclusion that I am a sinner. There were two things in my life that I have always regretted, and always felt guilty about. No person knew about them, but God always knew. But I heard that Jesus came to forgive our sins, and I thought “I really need a savior, to save me from those sins.” I believe that it was a miracle that Jesus was born, to die for us to save us from our sins, and I accepted him as my savior.
From the day that I gave my heart to Jesus, it was like a heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders. When I raised my hand to accept Jesus in Persian Christian Fellowship, it was like all my guilt and shame left through my open hands. I think everything in my life has been changed. When I was in Iran, I lived in the same city as my parents, but didn’t even visit them once a year. But once I became a Christian, I started to care for them. Before I didn’t love anyone, and only thought about how I could hurt them. Now I want to love them.
I am from a big group of people in Kurdistan, and everyone there knows me. I know if they hear that I became Christian, immediately they would reject me and the gospel at the same time. But I want to show the love of Jesus to them first, to prepare their hearts, then to share the gospel with them. I want to share the love of Jesus to everyone around the world. I started here in Athens. Everyone in Athens knows that I’m a Christian, because I can’t stop talking about my faith. Even the smugglers know. They’ll kill me if they find me. But I know that if everybody in this world would know His love, His peace, and His freedom, there wouldn’t be any more pain in the world.