Iranian Refugees in Turkey Continue to Feel the Sting of Rejection

Before escaping their home in the Islamic republic of Iran, Reza was a successful civil engineer and his wife, Mariam, had a good job as a translator, but something was missing in their lives

“I was depressed,” Reza told us, “always asking myself, ‘Where is God? Why we are here?’ And the more I asked these questions, the less I could find the answers in the religion in which I grew up.”

One day, Mariam was hired to translate a bible tract.  Curious, Reza read it.  It left him wanting to know more about god and Christianity.  Soon, he was attending an underground church.  When Mariam saw the changes in her husband and in their marriage, she gave her life to Christ too.  They had a new relationship with God, but their lives also took a dangerous turn.

“The government, the system there, they cannot tolerate your conversion,” Reza said.

One day, on his way to work, Reza was kidnapped by the police and interrogated for 2 straight days about his attendance at the underground church.  When he was released, he took his family and fled to turkey to seek asylum.  But, because refugees can’t legally work in turkey, the former engineer has to do menial jobs and get paid under the table to make ends meet.

“It’s hard as a mother to tell your kids no all the time because you can’t afford to buy them things,” Mariam told us.  “Employers barely pay us because they know we are desperate. They treat us like slaves,” she said with tears in her eyes.  

This family left everything they knew behind and came to a foreign land, relying on god.  We wanted to help them any way we could.  We started with a trip to the grocery store.  After loading up at the grocery store, we had one more big surprise for them.  CBN paid their rent and utility bills for three months.  Now, they’ll have a chance to get ahead.
“Thanks to God,” Mariam said with a smile and a glance heavenward.  “Thank you so much for your help.  We will never forget this.  Even though we’re far apart, we’re not alone.  In Christ, we are one big family.”

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