Bahar is one of our viewers who came to Christ through our Channel 7, or Shabakeh 7 as it’s known in Iran. Before her eternity changed, Bahar was afraid of God and followed Sharia’s rules and regulations to avoid being sent to hell.
The more Bahar read the Quran, the more she noted contradictions in how God was being presented. At times, God was compassionate. At others—particularly when it came to the “dos and don’ts” of the Quran, as Bahar called them—God appeared cruel.
Bahar asked a teacher for help with her confusion about God, but the teacher replied, “Do not focus on these issues!” Bahar, who is 45, now knows that Iran’s politics and bureaucracy made it too risky for her teacher to respond otherwise.
Even though Bahar studied the Quran and prayed consistently, she could not shake the fear that God seemingly wanted to punish her for eternity. That fear kept her awake at night, as she imagined scenes of graves and death.
Feeling trapped and looking for a way out of her family’s home, she married at 15. Her husband began abusing drugs, and Bahar soon became afraid of him, too. By 20, she had given birth to two sons and a daughter. Her children were her only source of joy. Yet, wanting to please God and the Imams and fearing rejection from others, she suffered through her marriage in silence and isolation.
Bahar’s turning point began when she enrolled in a Narcotics Anonymous class. Programs in Iran such as Narcotics Anonymous are completed anonymously and can offer Christian-based resources and tools without mentioning Christ’s name. Underground house churches have developed an evangelistic strategy through these practical programs that meet Iranians’ everyday needs.
Through Bahar’s class, she learned to substitute positive behaviors for negative ones. She also says she felt the Spirit of God in her. She was able to forgive herself and others. Her fear of death gradually disappeared.
Eventually, Bahar was able to leave her home with her two sons, although her daughter had to remain with her father because she was not of legal age.
Bahar’s family disowned her because of her divorce. Financial difficulties ensued, and her sons dropped out of school to work. Bahar applied for financial aid through a charity, but the calls she started receiving were not job offers but unwanted offers for temporary marriages. Until one day when between those types of calls, she answered a call informing her of a job possibility. She interviewed and was hired as a secretary for a boss she still enjoys working for.
Then Bahar came across our Channel 7, and she heard a sermon that described God in ways that Islam didn’t teach—in ways that Bahar believed a compassionate and merciful God would be at all times. She accepted Jesus as her Savior.
A deep peace entered her life. That peace extended over her financial situation and the remaining fears she battled. She was able to place behind her the pain and tribulations she had endured. Relationships with family members were restored.
“Peace and love to Shabakeh 7,” she told us, “because through this network, I have met the real God. Every day, I am getting a lot of peace and blessings from the Shabakeh 7 network. And with the sermons of dear Pastor Hormoz, I am growing in my faith.”