About Jesus - Steve Sweetman 

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Return To Evin Prison  


Homa Hoodfar has recently been incarcerated in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, where the Iranian regime, despite the lifting of sanctions, still tortures and executes those considered enemies of Islam.  Homa, a 65 year old Canadian/Iranian anthropologist at Concordia University in Montreal awaits her fate as she suffers from a severe muscle disease.  With Homa's arrest in mind I've reworked my 2011 article which I now entitle "Return To Evin Prison."  So, if you're not an American, for the sake of what you're about to read, imagine you are.  


Darkness settles as you rest your head on your pillow.  You drift into a sub-conscious state that lands you on the other side of the planet.  The dream is as real as real can be.  Your wife slips on her slacks, puts on her make-up, grabs a cup of coffee, and heads off to work.  Upon her arrival she is unexpectedly and abruptly slammed against the front fender of her car by two armed uniformed men.  As the handcuffs pinch her wrists she's thrown into a van and hauled off to Evin Prison.  What's her crime?  She's dressed like a western world woman.  That's it.


Two weeks pass and you hear nothing.  Day after day tension mounts.  Around the lunch table at work you vent your anger at the tyrannical religious elite who run the country.  Four weeks later there's still no word about your wife.  Silence is a game tyrants play.  It messes with your head.  They hope you'll cave into their demands or else just go insane.  Either is fine. 


While sitting at your work desk, burdened by the fear of uncertainty, the phone rings. Your 11 year old daughter isn't in school.  Her teacher wonders why, and so do you.  Moments later the phone rings again.  "My dear friend," a deep mysterious voice slowly but arrogantly speaks into your ear.  "Your daughter is in Evin Prison.  One of your co-workers turned you in.  You're about to pay for your lunch table rants." 


"My dear friend?" you think.  The words infuriate you.  You throw your iPhone across the room.  When it smashes against the wall you yell out for all to hear.  "Damn the clerics and the thugs they anoint to dictate our lives."   


Just two months ago your wife befriended a poor young mother who couldn't afford to feed her children.  From time to time the poor girl sold herself to the authorities, the proceeds of which fed her children, but that's over.  She was arrested, imprisoned, and sentenced to death.  Her crime was prostitution.  After being raped she was buried up to her neck in a hole in the ground.  Rocks flew from all directions, especially from those whom she serviced.  Her head morphed into a messy ball of blood.  Such a pathetic excuse for a woman isn't tolerated in this Islamic theocracy. 


Eight weeks pass.  Your body itches with irritating rashes.  The stress is overwhelming.  The phone rings again.  "My friend, your little slut of a daughter is dead.  Pick up her pathetic body and bury her before it rots."  


"Bury her?  Little slut?"  You're outraged.


"And by the way," the voice adds.  "Your daughter isn't in Heaven.  She lost her virginity to a guard before she faced the firing squad.  Only virgins go to Heaven my friend, and your daughter was no virgin."


You're numb; void of all emotions.  You lose consciousness for a brief moment.  They raped your 11 year old daughter before blowing her head off.  One bullet would have sufficed, but no, they used six high powered assault rifles to kill one little innocent girl.  You've just paid the price for your rants, and you still have no clue where your wife is.     


You wake in bed sheets drenched in sweat.  It seemed so real.  It takes a while, but you do drift back into that hazy sub-conscious state where you reside in western Europe.  It's 1649.  Jesus, through the Protestant Reformation, has liberated your soul from the bondage and tyranny of medieval Catholicism.  No one can kill your freedom in Christ; not the pope; not anyone.      


You pass away long before the seeds of freedom planted by the Reformation could sprout in America .  Generations later, however, those born from your lineage stand on the banks of the  Potomac River giving thanks to God for their newfound freedom.  Congregations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia sing "Let freedom reign."  Of course, it's not all inclusive freedom, but at least it's a step in the right direction.         


As you wake, you wonder what this all means.  You've just seen tyranny contrasted with freedom.  As your head clears an irrational reality sets in.  America is losing the very reason for its existence.  Freedom is eroding. Americans have openly, routinely, and relentlessly, criticized their government without reprisal or retaliation.  You've never been arrested for your rants on Facebook, but that's slowly but surely changing; and by the way, didn't you vote for change in 2008?   


Conservative Christians like yourself were once esteemed for their values.  You're now branded a "Christian Fundamental Extremist."  This illogical and unfair designation lumps you alongside the extremists who are terrorizing the world; the very extremists your president refuses to acknowledge being the "Islamic Fundamentalist Extremists" that they are. 


You now wonder when your Facebook page will be monitored; when your name will appear on a government watch list; and when your phone conversations will be used against you.  Are you paranoid or is this the new western world reality?        


Your stomach is sick with disgust.  In the name of compromise, tolerance, and the prospect of peace,   America has led the western world in making peace with a regime, who, not only in your dreams, but in reality, arrests, rapes, and executes women and girls who it considers enemies of Islam.  Let's not be fooled.  Tyrants don't make peace.  They deceive.  Jeremiah 8:11 rings clear.  "Peace, peace when there is no peace."  One question remains swirling around in your head.  Will an Evin-like prison appear in your town soon? 


Post Script  


For the record; I'm not paranoid.  I'm not a conspiracist.  I'm a realist who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ with his life in the midst of our world's new reality.  What I've dramatized above has been well document.   


Evin Prison is located in northwest Tehran, Iran.  Those who oppose, or appear to oppose, Iranian style theocracy are imprisoned, tortured, and killed within its walls.  Will 65 year old Homa Hoodfar suffer the same fate as Zahra Kazemi?  On June 23, 2003, Canadian/Iranian photo-journalist Zahra Kazemi was arrested for photographing Evin Prison where she lived out her final days.  The Islamic Revolutionary Guard claimed she died of a stroke, but she didn't.  It was subsequently learned that she had massive head wounds.  After being raped she was clobbered to death.  

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