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Written on July 28, 2011 by k. Abbasi
What I learned from Bible in-practice.
I was born in 1967 in the city of Tehran, the capital of Islamic Republic of Iran. My parents are “Kurd”* and most of the Kurd population is Muslim, but originally Iranians were “Zoroastrians” before becoming Muslim by force!
As a child, I remember seeing my parents and grandparents kneel and pray to Allah.
When I was five, I got sick seriously with fever and I lost my appetite at all, I still remember it very well, how my parents trips to doctors and hospitals from city to city and with no good result and after about five months, they brought me to one hospital in the city of Tehran.
After a new series of medical check-up the doctors found that I had been fall victim of “Typhoid fever” and I have been admitted to hospital for two months. Accordingly, as I grew older, I developed a desire to be a doctor.
Teenage critical period (first God-seeking time):
By the age of fifteen, I had to be religious and started to read and understand “Koran”. When I was reading Islamic constitutions one day, I came to a complicated digression about many topics…By the age of sixteen, I started to think about the God and there were a lot of questions in my mind. Better to ask my dad, I thought myself. But my dad referred me to go to the “Mosque” in our area and ask the questions from a religion-man who called “Mullah”. I took a shower, wear my clean new clothes, and new shows, in fact, wanted to present myself in front of the God properly.
I went to the Mosque for the first time, first I shocked by seeing a lot of bad-smelling people those who came there with a terrible appearances, after finishing the ritual, it was a time for getting closer to the Mullah and ask my questions, I did.
My first question was that; as written in the Koran, we should respect to Christians and Jewish people because they believe in the Almighty God. Is that right? I asked
Yes, of course, Mullah answered.
Then why I cannot shake my hands with them, or cannot share foods, why if I ate foods from them I have to do fasting for a frothy days, in order to be cleaned? Why a Muslim-man can get married with a Christian-woman for a short term, but a Muslim-woman cannot get married with a Christian-man even for a short-time?
Why we should learn about sex with infants and animals** in a book written by supreme religion leader as mandatory lessons in the high school while it is not written in Koran? Please explain me more, I asked.
But he got rage suddenly, this is the God’s command and as Muslim, we should follow it with no excuse, he answered angrily. But it is not written in the book, I said. Surprisingly, he commanded to some other people to throw me out. And he told me, IF YOU COME BACK WITH SAME QUESTIONs, I can punish you to death. Go away, and lots of bad staffs, he told me… I just scared, run to the outdoor, but my shows were not there anymore, I have shocked once again because someone has stolen my new-shoes?!
[Jesus Christ, indicated that false religion produces bad works, just as a “rotten tree produces worthless fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17)].
I came back home with no shoes, I do not believe in this kind of false-religion at all, I said to my dad. Since then, I was not religious… At the age of eighteen, in 1987, the time I was graduating from high school while there was a horrible-war between Iran and Iraq.
Most of Iranian young-boys, like me, had a desire to enroll to any universities because of not being called by the regime to join the war…
I studied hard and under too much pressure with a difficult situation due to the war. Many cities were bombarding by Iraqis’ every days and many class-mate of mine, as other innocents have been killed but finally, I got succeed to pass the medical university’s entrance-examination. But it was not finished yet. In order to be fully-registered at the universities, the Islamic-government should confirm the names of successful candidates to the universities. But to me, it didn’t happened, despite I passed the theoretical comprehensive-examination with excellent remarks!
In fact, it was the time of revenge for the regime… All of youngsters of a different ethnical group like as: “Kurd”, “Balouch”, “Lore”, “Arabs”, “Azari” and even “Fars”, those who were no religious-followers as the regime wished, should be punished by not permitted to the higher education study. Well, I fell victim to the Islamic-revenge at the age of eighteen?!
[Let’s see what we can learn from Bible: By contrast, the Bible says: “If anyone makes the statement: ‘I love God,’ and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar.” (1 John 4:20) Jesus even said: “Continue to love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44)].
First Received-Miracle by the Lord
I had gotten very anger and so up-set because of the discrimination by the false-religion.
[Later on, I learned from Bible; How to identify true religion: What good fruit should true religion produce?—Matthew 7:17. I also learned that true religion will practice love: True worshippers are “no part of the world,” are not divided by race or culture, and display ‘love among themselves.’ (John 13:35; 17:16; Acts 10:34, 35) Rather than killing one another, they are willing to die for one another.—1 John 3:16].
I could not realize my future, and didn’t what to do. After a while, suddenly, I decided to flee from my home-land illegally and not to participate to that terrible-war. I am going to flee, said to my dad.
My parents got too worry about me, but lastly they got agree with my idea. Meanwhile, I was preparing to commence my dangerous-travel, one friend of mine, who was Christian, came to my home, tried to make me cool “do you believe that “Jesus” is the only Blessed-man by the God?”, he asked rapidly.
Suddenly, there was a spark of light in my mind, Yes for sure, I replied.
He told me why you are not asking help from him? Let’s one night try, I said.
Then I was on pray whole night, I went to sleep in the early morning. In the afternoon, I wake up due to doorbell-ring and unbelievably there was a registered-letter from the government, which invites me to go to the medical university for registration but conditionally.
On the other hand, they allowed me to commence my study to be a general physician and no more chance for being a specialist?!
Soon after this miracle, my parents cancelled the dangerous-trip and they encouraged me to start my study. Later on, in 1994, I finished my doctoral degree program and decided to give my best service to people-in-need. I moved to the rural areas in Iran and worked really hard for a years. I also moved to small cities and worked as GP for many years. After a long time, I came back to the Tehran and worked hard.
I always used to ask No money from poor-patients and also tried to supply the needed-medicine for poor people, especially for those who were old or alone. About that time, I was so busy for a long time and it was almost impossible to find time to read or think about the Bible… Besides, as one who was identified as Muslim-parents-born was almost difficult to go to the established-Church and ask for a Bible in Persian-version. And it is also forbidden for a Muslim to switch into Christianity and could be punished to death**.
In search of the God
One day, in the end of year of 2004, I decided to move out of my country for completing my study and to become specialist. As I explained before, there was no chance for me to do my goal due to the false-religious-discrimination. Well, there were many other options, but in search of the God and finding a real religion, which was always in my mind, I decided to move to a Christian neighborhood-country. Well, I moved to a country, and worked hard for years.
While I was there and busy about my job, one day on the street, I met the missionary Bible-teachers, Jerard and Philip who were originally from USA and Netherland. They were missionaries of Jehovah’s Witnesses and they helped me start to study Bible. They used to come to my home not often but it was a miracle to me because “in-search of God and real religion” was an absolute-part of my plan that caused me to move out of home-land.
I accepted a copy of the magazines:
- How Jesus Can Change Your Life,
- What Can You Learn From Jesus’ Birth?
- We Need to Know Who God Is
- Jesus’ Miracles—History or Myth?
- and Can You Believe in a Paradise Earth?
Within a week, I was so excited and I devoured all of them, and to be perfect honest, I really felt that my life had been doomed for many years. After that, I was eager to talk about Bible but because of finishing my study, I lost my nice teachers. Then I decided to take another master program in an European nations, and so, I moved to one of Scandinavian country for a two-year. During my study, I had no chance to meet a missionary of Jehovah’s Witness in my home but I signed-up for chatting on the relevant topics via internet.
What I learned about the Bible touched my heart forever . I was always motivated to share what I was learning with my very closed-trusted friends. Indeed, I should be always careful in order to prevent terrible-events.
Keep on … seeking of the God
“Keep on… Seeking First the Kingdom and His Righteousness”-Matthew 6:33
After finishing my master from a Scandinavian nation, I decided to move to another European nation and of course a Christian one. I enrolled to a university as student again, in the first week of new-arriving, I asked my Lord, please send me a good teacher of the Bible and continue my bible’s study, as Jehovah’s Witness, suddenly, the doorbell rang and my asked -wish came true. Unbelievably, there was a Bible’s teacher in front of my eyes, Maryline, she came in but before start to talk about, I cried happily… I cried really happily…
Later on, I met her husband, Paul Evans as a Bible’s teacher too. We started to discuss seriously around important topics by reading the book called
- WHAT DOES THE BIBLE REALLY TEACH!
Awake-magazines published by the Jehovah’s Witness organization, totally influenced my life to the right stream.
Maryline & Paul Evans and me:
District Convention Program of Jehovah’s Witnesses,
When bring the Bible’s word in-practice, can rescue and save our lives!
Recently, I have received a lot of bad news and faced many painful hardships in my life, which only one of them can cause every unbeliever to be broken forever, such as, my beloved-relatives have been killed in my land suspiciously… Due to this unexpected situation, I always sleep late and a couple days ago, I wake-up suddenly in very early morning, about 4 o’clock, just due to a lot of noise, which made by one of my neighbors and his guests… I got rage and run to my neighbor’s door, I knocked the door and asked him “what time is it man?” I asked furiously. I cannot sleep because of your bad behave, I told…
An idea of calling to police, like as a strong temptation, came to my mind, I was really so angry, because he and his friends did not respect me, more important, he did not feel sorry for his wrong-behavior, but what happened next while I was so angry and really dizzy of sleepiness, there was a spark of light in my mind, which opened my eyes, I remembered that I’m a Jehovah’s witness, I should control my angriness, temptation, and revenge feeling, and I found they were drunk… I should do nothing wrongly based on angriness I should behave better than this… I told myself, and got calm unbelievably, I did apologize and came back home quickly.
Then I felt nice, really happy because of controlling my rage, controlling of temptation-feeling of revenge…before back to sleep, I just imagined that if I was inside my land and if I was on the wrong stream of false-religion and if the same story would happened to me, then what would you done then? I asked myself. The answer is, by the same situation inside my land, and by the misguiding of that false religion, which is allowed to punish a drunk-man easily, and in respect of my strong muscles, it was so possible to lose my self-control and doing a violent behavior undoubtedly…
But what I did in-real , as a righteous one and real believer, I brought the Bible’s word in-practice, and successfully controlled my angriness and temptation of revenge… My story explained why, in part by telling how reading the whole Bible has changed me.
Thanks to the Almighty God and Jesus Christ, for teaching me the way of distinguishing of REAL RELIGION from a false-religion and the Lord Bless my Bible’s teachers who showed me the right way. After all, proudly, I would continue my Bible’s study more often and I want to read the whole Bible obsessively. On the other hand, after spending a years with the Bible’s words, I’ve become a full-on Bible-lover. Everyone should read it-all of it! Indeed, the less you believe, the more you should read. By now, I believe that if I want to discover the grace and forgiveness and wonder, I have to read and believe in the story of Jesus Christ, which explains and redeems all. That’s my intellectual defense of Bible reading. The Bible has brought me more closely to the God. Reading the Bible can give us a chance to start an argument with God about the most important questions there are, an argument that can last a lifetime. To my belief, the Bible is written to create a personal transaction between us and the God. We have brought God into our lives and now God will bring Himself into ours. Question God, ask God, seek God and you will come to know the God. Briefly, in the words of Jesus to a Samaritan woman, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22) You are on that path! The Almighty God, in His mercy calls each of us to Himself. And, you seem to have received God’s mercy and have been called by Him through the Bible reading.
To me the most important question from the beginning was “does it matter which religion I follow?” As the best answer, which is explained in an “Awake magazine”. To MOST of us like to have a good collection to decide from when we go shopping. When a market offers a variety of fruits and vegetables, we can select the ones that we most enjoy and that are good for our family. If a clothing store offers many affordable styles and colors, we can choose what best suits us. Some of the choices we make in life are merely expressions of individual taste. Others, though, affect our well-being, for example, our choice of healthful food or wise friends. So, what about our choice of religion? Should our way of worship be merely an expression of personal taste? Or is it a matter that seriously affects our well-being?
As a matter of fact, many religions arose from a desire for political power, prestige, and popular acceptance rather than a desire to please God. By reading Bible, we can discovered that the apostle Paul revealed another motive that people have for starting a new religion when he said: “I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:29, 30) Proud leaders often start religious movements to draw attention to themselves.
In fact, most religions claim that what they say comes from the God. Therefore, we do well to heed the words of Jesus’ apostle John, who wrote: “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.” (1 John 4:1) Everything that comes from God reflects his personality, especially his predominant quality, love. For example, our sense of smell, which enables us to delight in the aroma of herbs, flowers, or freshly baked bread, is an expression of God’s love. Our ability to see a sunset, a butterfly, or the smile of a young child reflects God’s love for us. The same is true of our ability to hear beautiful music, the sound of a bird, or the voice of a loved one. Even our human nature, imperfect as it is, reflects God’s love. That is why we often experience the truth of Jesus’ words: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35) We enjoy expressing love because we are made “in God’s image.” (Genesis 1:27) Although Jehovah has many other qualities, love is the most outstanding aspect of his personality. Writings that come from God should reflect his love. The world’s religions have many ancient writings. How do such writings measure up in regard to reflecting God’s love?
The truth is, most ancient religious texts explain little about how God loves us or how we can love God. Thus, millions of people receive no answer when they ask, “Why do we see evidence of God’s love in creation while suffering and evil continue?” The Bible, on the other hand, is the only ancient religious writing that fully explains God’s love. It also teaches us how to practice love.
May God continue to bless all of us?
* The Kurds are an ethnic group who have historically inhabited the mountainous areas to the south of Caucasus (Zagros and Taurus mountain ranges), a geographical area collectively referred to as Kurdistan. Most Kurds speak an Indo-European language belonging to the Iranian branch.
In January 1946, during the Soviet occupation of north-western Iran, the Soviet-backed Kurdish Republic of Mahabad declared independence in parts of Iranian Kurdistan. Nevertheless, the Soviet forces left Iran in May 1946, and the self-declared republic fell to the Iranian army after only a few months and the president of the republic Qazi Muhammad was hanged publicly in Mahabad. After the 1953 Iranian coup d’état , Mohammad Reza Pahlavi became more autocratic and suppressed most opposition including Kurdish political groups seeking greater rights for Iranian Kurds. He also prohibited any teaching of the Kurdish language.
After the Iranian revolution, intense fighting occurred between militant Kurdish groups and the Islamic Republic between 1979 and 1982. In August 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini declared a “holy war” against the Kurdish rebels seeking autonomy or independence, and ordered the Armed Forces to move to the Kurdish areas of Iran in order to push the Kurdish rebels out and restore central rule to the country.An image of a firing squad of Revolutionary Guards executing Kurdish prisoners around Sanandaj gained international fame and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980, and there is also other image available of Kurdish militants capturing the supporters of the Iranian regime.The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps fought to reestablish government control in the Kurdish regions; as a result, around ten thousand Kurds were killed. Since 1983, the Iranian government has maintained control over the Iranian Kurdistan. Frequent unrest and the occasional military crackdown have occurred since the 1990s.
**Islamic Teachings on sex with infants:
“A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate. If he penetrates and the child is harmed then he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl, however would not count as one of his four permanent wives. The man will not be eligible to marry the girl’s sister.”
The complete Persian text of this saying can be found in “Ayatollah Khomeini in Tahrirolvasyleh, Fourth Edition, Darol Elm, Qom”
** Islamic Teachings on sex with animals:
“The meat of horses, mules, or donkeys is not recommended. It is strictly forbidden if the animal was sodomized while alive by a man. In that case, the animal must be taken outside the city and sold.”
My note: I wonder if it is OK to sodomize a dead animal? What happens if the buyer brings the poor animal back into the city?
“If one commits an act of sodomy with a cow, a ewe, or a camel, their urine and their excrements become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed as quickly as possible and burned, and the price of it paid to its owner by him who sodomized it.”
“It is forbidden to consume the excrement of animals or their nasal secretions. But if such are mixed in minute proportions into other foods their consumption is not forbidden.”
“If a man (God protect him from it!) fornicates with an animal and ejaculates, ablution is necessary.”
I also shocked when read this: “A man can have sex with animals such as sheep’s, cows, camels and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village; however, selling the meat to the next door village should be fine.”
*** Remember those in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3, NIV
Pastor Hossein Soodmand was charged with apostasy and sentenced to death by hanging
Assemblies of God Church, Mashhad Iran – December 3, 1990. One of Iran’s leading Protestant pastors was executed in December 1990 after a sharia court (an Islamic Court) condemned him. Hussein Soodman, an Assemblies of God pastor and a Muslim convert to Christianity, had been involved in Christian ministry for 24 years. He was reportedly hanged on December 3, 1990, as part of a new wave of repression directed against the small Christian community in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Apostasy: Under Islamic law enforced in Iran, a Muslim who converts to Christianity faces the death penalty.
“Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection… they were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword… the world was not worthy of them.” – Hebrews 11: 37-38.
- 2011 – Rev. Leonard Keshishian, the pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Isfahan has been arrested
- 2010 – Over 70 Iranian Christians were arrested during Christmas Holidays. The Governor of Tehran has vowed to arrest more evangelical Christians.
- 2010 – Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani – Gilan, Iran – Sentenced to be executed on 10/24/2010 for Apostasy
- 2010 – Pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani – Gilan, Iran – arrested & imprisioned for the crime of Apostasy
- 2010 – October – a young believer has died in Iran after he had been severely beaten by a relative who objected to his strong faith in Christ. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. (Reported by Elam)
- 2010 – September 23, Nine followers of Jesus were detained in Hamedan, the capital of Hamadan province, on charges of evangelism, which potentially carries the death penalty under strict laws in Iran.
- According to a report by FCNN (Farsi Christian News Network), 4 followers of Jesus Christ from Hamadan were arrested on September 4, 2010. Three of them were released on April 30, 2011, after 8 months in prison (Arezoo Teymouri & her husband Arash Karmanjai and Sonia Keshish Ovanesian). Vahid Abrahemian is still under arrest as of April 30, 2011.
- 2010 – July 24 at 9:00 p.m., 27-year-old Neshan Saeedi was spending a quiet evening at home with his wife and young daughter when plain-clothes security forces entered his house and arrested him. The security officers searched the home and seized personal belongings such as a computer, CDs containing films of Christian seminars and teachings, Christian books and Bibles, and family photo albums. As of September 09, 2010 – there is no information about the condition of Neshan.
- 2010 – July 18, 15 Christians detained in Mashhad,Iran’s second largest city, remain detained and are “under pressure pressure to recant their faith but are refusing to do so.” – (Reported by The Voice of the Martyrs)
- 2010 – April 29, Ali Golchin (29), has been held in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin prison since he was arrested in his home town of Varamin on April 29. After weeks of appealing to the authorities, Ali’s father was finally allowed access to him on June 17 — though they were allowed only 10 minutes together. Ali was released on bail on July 25.
- 2009 – October, Pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani – Held in prison in Shiraz, Iran – has been given limited contact with his family and his attorney.
- 2008 – Sakineh Rahnama), August 3, wife of Abbas Amiri, died from injuries sustained when secret police raided a house church service hosted at their house and severly beat her.
- 2008 – Abbas Amiri), August 1, House Church Isfahan, died from injuries sustained when secret police raided a house church service hosted at their house and severly beat him.
- 2007 – On April 18 2007 three members of Malatya Church in Turkey were murdered; Pastor Necati Aydin, Tilmann Geske & Ugur Yuksel. The first martyrs of the modern Turkish Church.
- 2007 – In June, a number of Iranian Christians have been arrested and are held in unknown places, including Mr. fard from Tehran.
- 2007 – Mohammad Ali Jafarzadeh, May 2007, Executed (hanged) in Evin Prison
- 2007 – Mohammad Jaberi, May 2007, Executed (hanged) in Evin Prison
- 2007 – Mr. Patrick, an Iranian Christian and a member of Church of Kermanshah was arrested in May.
- 2007 – Several Iranian Christians from Church of Mashhad were arrested in February.
- 2006 – 14 Iranian Christians from Church of Rasht were arrested in December.
- 2006 – Iranian secret police began to raid and arrest leaders of the Islamic republic’s indigenous “Jesus Only” movement Sunday December 10, arriving unannounced in the early morning hours to search their homes in Tehran, Karaj, Rasht and Bandar-i Anzali.
- 2005 – Pastor Ghorbandordi Tourani – Iranian House Church Leader murdered near his house in Gonbad-e Kavous, November 22
- 2004 – Pastor Hamid Pourmand – arrested … sentenced to 3 years in prison … charged with apostasy … acquitted of apostasy …
- 2004 – 80 Iranian Christians Arrested, September 2004
- 2004 – Pastor Khosroo Yusefi and his family arrested by Iranian Police on Sunday May 23, 2004
- 2003 – International Religious Freedom Report on Iran
- 1996 – Rev. Bagher Yusefi, Murdered Sept. 28 1996, Assembly of God Church of Amirkola, Mazanderan
- 1994 – Rev. Tateos Mikaelian, June 29 1994, Presbyterian Church of Tehran
- 1994 – Rev. Mehdi Dibaj, Hanged from a tree June 1994, Assembly of God Church of Tehran
- 1994 – Bishop Haik Hovsepian, Mudered January 1994, Assembly of God Church of Tehran
- 1990 – Rev. Hossein Soodmand, Executed December 1990, Assembly of God Church of Mashhad
- 1988 – Rev. Manuchehr Afghani, Presbyterian Church of Tehran
- 1980 – Bahram Deghani-Tafti, Murdered May 1980, Church of Isfahan, Son of an Anglican Bishop Hassan Dehqani-Tafti
- 1979 – Rev. Arastoo Sayyah – Murdered February 1979 – Angelican Church of Shiraz