Standing Up Under Persecution - Trans World Radio Canada

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    • Jan25Wed

      Standing Up Under Persecution

      January 25, 2017 by TWR Canada
      Filed Under:
      Persian Ministry

      I thank my God for allowing me to go to jail.

      Previously, we shared the story of Persian believer Lina who was sent to jail because of her faith (read that story here and here). Lina has been released from jail and is serving her one year sentence under house arrest, but we have no further information as she is unable to communicate with us. However, last week we received a letter from Jake (not his real name). He was one of the house church leaders that we asked you to pray for who was sentenced to serve one year in jail last fall.

      Jake has listened to TWR Canada's Persian broadcasts for about 20 years. He was baptized and he and his wife have been able to attend our Persian ministry conferences. They adopted their daughter several years ago. Jake's arrest left his wife and daughter without an income.

      Jake wrote to us about his first six months in jail (letter excerpted for length and security reasons).

      While I was in jail, the secret police threatened my wife...They attacked her and told her that because I was not willing to cooperate with them, they would add five more years onto my jail term. My wife has been going through a lot of pain, perhaps more than I have.

      ...One of the secret police told my wife she should divorce me and guaranteed her an income if she did so. Thankfully, she did not follow this advice...

      Sometimes the secret police are very polite with me and try to persuade me to become an informer and give them the names of other believers. They do not know that when a blind person has received sight, they never want to be blind again. They do not recognize that those who are friends with the world are enemies with God. No matter what they do, I will be faithful to my Lord who gave me spiritual sight.

      When a blind person receives sight, they never want to be blind again.
      ...I felt your prayers and those of others. They were very powerful. All of the men in our cell - thieves, killers, kidnappers, were all nice to me. I found some believers in the prison yard. We would pray and sing together and encourage one another...

      The guards respect me. When new guards arrive, they ask me what crime I had committed. I told them: I was a Muslim and now I am a Christian. They were very curious why I had become a Christian. I had lots of time, so I shared the Scripture with them and what I believed. The message of salvation and the word of our great God was clearly evident in jail.

      Some of the guards and some of my fellow prisoners have become Christians. They agreed with the Word of God. I could not sit still while I was singing and thanking God for his blessings. I thank God for his kindness to me, allowing me to be in jail...

      I don't know how long I can be in touch with you. I thank God for you and the people who brought the truth to me.

      From your brother who considers it an honour to suffer for the Lord.

      We continue to hear similar messages from those who are incarcerated for their faith -- thankfulness. They are able to have a vibrant ministry inside jail to those who are otherwise unreachable, and their faith is often strengthened through this season of persecution. They are able to experience God in a way that defies human logic and yet forges a faith of miraculous bravery and courage that spreads the gospel message like seeds on the wind.

      Please continue to lift up these brothers and sisters who are serving time in jail or awaiting trial because of their choice to follow Christ and/or lead house churches.