Persecuted Iranian Refugees Encouraged and Inspired at Spiritual Retreat

When persecuted Iranian Christians are forced to flee the country they face many challenges as they seek to start a new life as refugees

IRAN —When persecuted Iranian Christians are forced to flee the country they face many challenges as they seek to start a new life as refugees, including being treated as second class citizens and feelings of isolation.

In response Christian ministry Help The Persecuted hosted a spiritual retreat for Iranian refugees in a country that can’t be disclosed for security reasons.

GNA reporter Peter Wooding was there and spoke to Help The Persecuted CEO Joshua Youssef.

*location not disclosed and faces blurred for security reasons.

Strict Embargo: This report cannot be broadcast in the Middle East.

When persecuted Iranian Christians are forced to flee their country for their lives, they face countless challenges as they seek to start a new life in another country. As refugees, one of the biggest obstacles is being treated like second-class citizens and feelings of isolation. However, Christian Ministry Help the Persecuted recently hosted a conference at an undisclosed location for Iranian believers where they were able to worship together as well as be equipped and encouraged to live out their faith. During the conference I spoke to Help the Persecuted CEO Joshua Youssef.

Peter Wooding:

Just set the scene, what’s happening right now, what it means to you.

Joshua Youssef:

Well we host these conferences in the region to help people who have left and fled Iran, severe persecution in Iran. And these conferences are wonderful because they encourage the believers, They encourage the local church in the region that we’re in right now to remain steadfast, to remain strong in their faith. And what’s amazing is some of these people, many of these people, have spent time in jail in Iran. They’ve spent, they’ve been persecuted severely.

Help the Persecuted’s field ministry team leader Qasem, who served three years in prison in Iran for his faith, said it was a very emotional time for many of those who came, who had previously felt that they were alone.


We tried to learn from each other, testimonies, talking to each other, to open our hearts, to have a friendship. Many of them, they’re crying because it was, for some of them, it was the first time they really feel they are someone and the other people they’re caring about.

Youssef  said, as well as gathering persecuted Christians like this, they also come alongside them to rescue, restore and rebuild their lives.


We provide what we call emergency relief kits. Many of these people are living in severe poverty, either joblessness or what we might call under-employment. These emergency relief kits have rice and oil and food for them to be sustained. We also provide job opportunities for them so that they are self-supporting and that they can go and employ other converts.

And Help the Persecuted is planning to expand their work throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Asia this year, making it possible for tens of thousands of persecuted believers to rebuild their lives in some of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian.

Read more news on Non Profit / Faith Based Organizations, and Humanitarian Services.

About Help The Persecuted

Rescue. Restore. Rebuild. Help The Persecuted has been supporting suffering Christians with practical and spiritual help since 2011 and in 2018 was established as standalone charitable organization. We pray our efforts will empower the global Church to flourish not just in Middle East and North Africa, but also in the Western world as we share in their suffering and bear their burdens. Help The Persecuted is a 501(c)3 organization and a member of ECFA, the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability

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