Preparing My Daughter for Persecution in Iran
Being incarcerated for your faith is one thing. But what would happen to your child if you were taken away? An Iranian mother shares how she had prepared her daughter for the day persecution arrived at their door.
“I knew the day would come…the day they would ring my doorbell and take me and my husband to prison. Although everyone around me thought I was a housewife, I was, in fact, involved in full-time ministry. The authorities were bound to find out.
“We started preparing our daughter Lily* for persecution when she was still in primary school. ‘When they come and take mom and dad away, don’t worry,’ we told her. ‘The Bible tells us it is normal to be persecuted as believers. They will take us to prison, ask us some questions, and hit us. Then we will come back.’”
The Day It Happened
“It was an early winter morning when the authorities came to our house. Lily was 12 at the time and had already left for school. They rang the bell and came to our apartment. They started searching everything. Then they ordered my husband and me to come with them.
“While we were being taken to prison, I knew what Lily would do when she was picked up from school by my sister—she would pray for us. And when she was afraid, she would pray more.
“In prison, my husband and I were split up. I was allowed to call Lily four times a week. I was interrogated daily and soon they found my weak point. My little girl. I told them everything they wanted to know about myself, but I refused to give the names of others. ‘Ok,’ they told me, ‘as long as you won’t give names, you can’t call your daughter.’
The Fear of Separation
“I was devastated. Back in my cell, I couldn’t stop crying. I knew that I did the right thing. But how could I live without knowing how my daughter was doing? How could she be comforted without hearing my voice?
“But while I was praying, all of the sudden I felt a warm wind stroking my cheeks. ‘Take it in,’ I heard the Lord saying.
Placing My Daughter in His Hands
“With every breath of warm air I took, I felt my body being filled with joy. I couldn’t sit anymore, I had to dance for joy and praise God. It lasted all night. All night I was dancing for the Lord, until the next morning I had the strength to put my beloved daughter in the hands of God.
“Not long after, I was released, as was my husband … I was very happy to see my little Lily again. She told me that she had been praying a lot for us. Spending these times in prayer and trusting the Lord in everything was a completely new experience for her. Looking back, she says that she never grew more in her faith then during that time we were in prison. I put my Lily in the hands of the Lord, and he had taken care of her.”
*representative name and photo used for security reasons