The Beating that Stopped Short

As the Persian-speaking churches have closed in Iran, many home churches have started without a pastor. Christian leaders are providing training outside the country for the house church leaders of Iran. A leader in this church network brings small groups to train and sends them back to continue their work in the house churches. He shared about Maryam*, a new member of a group with which he’d been working.

Maryam had told him her testimony while showing her wound-covered arms. Maryam had noticed that one of her classmates was different from the others. Maryam asked her about her loving behavior. Her classmate answered that she was a believer in Jesus and shared the gospel with Maryam. Maryam read the New Testament the girl gave her, and her spiritual eyes were opened. She invited Jesus into her heart.

When Maryam began attending house church meetings with her friend, her mother found out about her faith. Her mother told Maryam’s father, a practicing Muslim with a high government position. Discovering that Maryam was serious in her faith, her father threatened her in hopes of causing her to stop following Jesus.

When Maryam resisted, he began beating her to death. She cried, “Jesus, save me.” Suddenly her father stopped the beating and started crying, asking for her forgiveness. Her father said, “As I was beating you, I saw Jesus covering you; the belt was hitting Jesus. I realized I was beating Jesus, and I stopped. Like you, I believe in Jesus now.”

*name changed for security