In Iran, being Christian is a crime. Zahra was prisoned, with around 300 other people from her church, for having this belief. Today she lives a life of fear, persecution and threats.
On Christmas Eve 2010, the police knocked the door to the apartment of Zahra, arresting her sister. The same day 70 people from her church was arrested and put in jail. The next day, Zahra went for helping her sister out of prison. But then she was also arrested, and put in a cell. For what? For believing in another God than Allah.
The police showed pictures, videos, and messages as prove of her being Christian. The church they had been going to was just in an apartment, due to that needed to hide their religion from the authorize. That is why she was wondering how the police had all of this information.
All in all, around 300 people from the church was arrested. On different dates. Zahra spent three months in a three square meter cell. Separated from her sister or other people she knew.
Zahra says that she was forced to sign a paper saying that she was not Christians, and did not believe in Jesus. She had to sign a paper saying that Allah was the only God, and that she believed in him. The guards did not use physical punishment, but talked very rudely. Five times a day, she was forced to perform the “Salat”. The Muslim praying to Allah.
Today, only 4 of these 300 people from the church that was arrested is still in Iran. The rest have abandoned their country. Fleeing to places where they can practice their religion freely. Nevertheless, Zahra is one of the few that is still left in Iran. Saying that she regularly get callings from the police threatening to arrest her again. She has to practice her religion hiding in a small room in the apartment where she lives. All the churches are now shut down in Iran. The last one, and oldest in the country, was shut down this year.
Zahra`s name is not really Zahra. However, her story is true. She really would like that her story is told, and that people are aware of what is happening with Christians in Iran. As this has not been debated in the media. However, as Zahra is in danger, she would like to remain anonymous. Without her real name and photo.
That being said, did you know that this was happening? Do you know about anyone that is passing through the same? Comments are highly appreciated.