TURKEY — Kouroush* is an Iranian Christian now living in Turkey, after he fled to escape persecution, leaving everything behind. We hear how, with Open Doors’ support, he is now opening a Center of Hope to help care for fellow refugees.
Kouroush*, name changed for security purposes:
“I didn’t murder anyone. I didn’t steal anything. I didn’t do anything illegal. I only met Jesus and surrendered my heart to Him.”
In his home country of Iran, Christian convert Kouroush was a house church leader and that was enough to bring him to the attention of the authorities.
“After I came to faith in Jesus Christ I faced arrest and torture. After I was released from prison, they found out about my activities again. And because it was the second time that I faced arrest, I was forced to leave Iran.”
Each year many Christians flee Iran to escape being persecuted for their faith. But life as a refugee can feel lonely and hopeless, as Kouroush himself found.
“I don’t know how to describe my feelings. Some mix of fear and sadness and confusion about why I’m here. Because I lost everything – my job, my family, my city, my country. I was always telling Jesus in my prayers: ‘I lost everything but I have you. So God, You know why I’m here, You know where I’m going – and this is the only comfort I have.”
When Kouroush came to Turkey six years ago, he didn’t have a place where he could feel save or find support. Now with help from Open Doors, he and a local church are opening a community center where refugees like him can receive pastoral care and practical help.
“Finding supportive fellow Iranian refugees who can help you is one of the challenges for people who come to Turkey. From the depths of my heart I am looking forward to seeing the Center of Hope start its ministry. I’m counting down the days to that. For this to happen we really need your prayers.”
About Open Doors UK
Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.
Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support, and community development projects.
Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.
Source: Global News Alliance, Persecuted Iranian Christian Opens Refugee Centre in Turkey