There is growing concern for the safety of Christian converts in Iran following a British government report that found that simply being a Christian is enough to get you arrested there.
The report revealed that “many arrests reportedly took place during police raids on religious gatherings” and that “Christians, particularly evangelicals and converts from Islam, continued to experience disproportionate levels of arrest and detention.”
“The situation is getting worse on a daily basis and I’m very concerned,” explains Omid, Team Leader for Help The Persecuted in Iran, who spent three years in prison himself from 2012-15.
He added: “Ten years ago it was much better than now. Back then leaders of many churches were sent to prison for 3-4 years. But now many Christians are being sentenced to 10-15 years simply for practicing their faith.”
Despite his own persecution Omid stood firm in his faith. While in prison he went on hunger strike for 85 days which eventually secured the release of three of his fellow inmates. And he was instrumental in seeing at least 45 of those in prison with him come to know Christ.
Today Omid is coordinating vital support to many vulnerable persecuted Iranian Christian women and their families including Daria and her young daughter Farah.
They started their R³ Impact Partnership to give people the opportunity to Rescue, Restore, and Rebuild the lives of persecuted believers like Daria and her daughter through monthly support.
Daria grew up in a family plagued by drug addiction. Her father died of a heroin overdose, and her brother passed away in a drug rehab center. Controlled by her mother, Daria began to work as a prostitute to meet household expenses.
When Daria’s uncle went to jail for selling drugs, her mother sold her into marriage in exchange for his freedom. Ultimately Daria’s husband abandoned her.
Years later, she married again, conceived triplets, and two of them passed away. But her daughter Farah survived!
She soon found out her husband had another wife and a mistress. When he divorced Daria, she had no choice but to move back home with her mother. For a while, Farah lived in an orphanage because Daria wasn’t able to take care of her. Eventually, Daria returned to prostitution in order to bring her daughter home and provide for her.
Daria became hopeless and attempted suicide.
But God met Daria in her despair.
She reconnected with a formerly estranged cousin on Instagram. Her cousin shared the Gospel with her, and Daria accepted Christ and joined an online church! Daria told our team,
“In the darkest days of my life, a new light shone. God resurrected me and gave me strength to live again. He stopped me from being a prostitute and gave me hope to get out of those dark and loveless days and experience His true love. God saved me and my daughter.”
Although Daria now has an eternal hope, her struggles are far from over. If her conversion is discovered, it could mean imprisonment or death. Daria and her daughter need to move out of her mother’s abusive home now more than ever.
“Our local team member in Iran reached out to us regarding funds to help Daria with rent, utilities, and food as well as school tuition for Farah,” explains Help The Persecuted CEO and President Joshua Youssef.
“It is a privilege to help Daria find a safe place to call “home.” Daria and Farah will be able to grow in their faith, heal from the physical and emotional impact of years of trauma, and rebuild their lives.”
Joshua concluded: “Our R³ Impact Partners are saving and changing the lives of Daria and Farah—and so many more vulnerable women like them who are following Jesus in countries that violently persecute them. We plan to Rescue, Restore, and Rebuild many other persecuted Christians on an ongoing basis.”