About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
To Evin Prison
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
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
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.
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."
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
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."
her? Little slut?"
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."
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
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.
pass away long before the seeds of freedom planted by the Reformation
could sprout in
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.
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?
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.
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?
stomach is sick with disgust. In
the name of compromise, tolerance, and the prospect of peace,
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.
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.