After Imprisonment and Attack, Christian Couple Flees Iran

After Imprisonment and Attack, Christian Couple Flees Iran

Photo: Arash Kermajani and his wife Arezoo Teymouri, who had been snatched and illegally detained on their way to their homes and families, were attacked after their release from prison. Soon after, they fled the country for fear of their lives (ASSIST News Service).

HAMEDAN, IRAN (ANS) -- An Iranian Christian couple were attacked soon after their release from prison, according to the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN).

FCNN says they were one of two married couples who had been taken from their home by agents of the Ministry of State Security of the Islamic Regime in Sep. 2010, and held imprisoned for up to eight months without ever being formally charged.

Twenty-nine-year-old Mr. Arash Kermajani, and his 26-year-old wife, Mrs. Arezoo Teymouri, had to go into hiding and eventually leave their country for fear of their lives as a result of threats by elements of the Islamic Regime.

According to FCNN, this Christian couple were detained while guests of their friends Mr. and Mrs. Vahik and Sonia Abramian in Hamedan, in northwestern Iran.

FCNN reported that plain-clothes agents of the Ministry of State Security of the Islamic Regime raided the house, arrested them all, and took them to Centre 113 of Hamedan. They were then taken to a secret prison which was later identified as the central prison of Ministry of State Security of the Islamic Regime in Hamedan.

FCNN says that throughout their detention in this secret prison, they were kept in solitary confinement, Mrs. Arezoo Teymouri for 11 days, and her husband Arash Kermajani for 43 days; then transferred to the general ward of yet another notorious prison in Hamedan.

Solitary Confinement and General Prison Ward

After their escape from the Islamic Republic, Mrs. Arezoo Teymouri, in an interview with an FCNN reporter, spoke of the conditions under which she was held and the reasons for her transfer to the general ward so much sooner than her husband: “We were staying as guests at Brother Vahik and Sister Sonia’s house. On that particular day we were watching a film when State Security agents stormed in, the shock and induced fear caused spasms of bleeding, which coupled with the hunger strike that I started soon after, reduced my blood pressure to such a dangerously low levels that they were forced to take me to the city’s main hospital, demanding that I should not communicate nor speak, with anyone. As soon as my conditions improved, I was led back to the secret prison and then to the general ward of Hamedan’s main female prison.”

Remembering the harsh treatment she was made to suffer in prison, Arezoo told the FCNN reporter: "Just to put an innocent woman in solitary is in itself a severe form of torture. They did not inflict any physical torture on my body, but did not for a second stop their psychological tortures.”

Arezoo went on to say: “They ridiculed and debased me at every opportunity. Whenever I spoke of my Christian beliefs they imitated, ridiculed and laughed at me. Well aware of my past life, they used it to crush me psychologically and reduce me to confessing to what they demanded. But I had learnt that reminders of a sinful past is Satanic, and so their attacks did not have any effect on my resolve to trust in our Lord Jesus Christ and to reconcile myself to the fact that He Will protect His flock. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who upon the Cross, took our sins unto Himself, is standing right by me -- alive, comforting and protective -- proving their falsehood."

Arezoo was asked if she was ever afraid.

She replied: “They tried very hard to frighten me, and I knew the situation was critical and felt my life in danger, so I naturally was terrified; but my belief in Jesus, and witnessing God’s work in my life helped me overcome their threats and not to allow fear overpowering me.”

Fear and Hope

Remembering his imprisonment in the hands of the State Security agents of the Islamic Republic, Arash Kermajani told the FCNN: “The first few days were the most difficult; I was afraid of what may happen to Arezoo and prayed for her all the time, asking my Lord to protect and save her. Then He gave me His calm and assurance concerning her fate and I was able to accept His decision in humility; I realized that God’s power is far greater than my fears. From then on my mind was at peace and I could clearly see the hand of God protecting us.”

Talking about the prison guards, Arash said: “I was under constant pressure to confess to have been helping foreigners against my country; my Christian beliefs were questioned and it was denigrated to the level of childish thoughts and a passing trend. To tell you the truth, there was a full-scale war going on inside those prison walls. But their efforts were for naught, none of the guards nor were agents of the Ministry of State Security of the Islamic Republic of any consequence. I was dealing vital blows to the heart of the enemy and was battling Satan with the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Explaining the reasons for their release from prison, Arash said: “The fact is that they had no excuse to detain us in the first place, and we have done absolutely nothing to warrant any punishment, and they knew it well. While in prison we actually heard that we have been accused of being ‘ideological thieves and members of a Zionist group opposing the Islamic Regime.’

“There was no substance to these spurious claims, and in no way was it possible to connect us to anything as their claimed. My wife and I are both from dysfunctional families and background. We have been directly touched and saved by Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has turned our lives around. For this reason, and to thank God for his deliverance, we only spoke of our own personal experiences with Jesus Christ to people and especially other social victims. After eight months I guess they realized they were wrong about us, and caught on the fact that we are but simple witnesses to Christ.”

Threats and Escape from the Islamic Republic

Speaking about their freedom and eventual escape from the Islamic Republic, Arash Kermajani stated: “Without any prior notice we were simply told to get out, nor were our families informed; nobody was aware of our sudden freedom.

“Coming out of the prison, which is some distance from the city of Hamedan, we were forced to move a long way before we reached the main road.”

He added: “Mrs. Sonia Keshish Avanesian, Arezoo, and I got in a hired car, and as it started to move, three motorcycles with pylon riders surrounded the car and rode some distance alongside the car screaming obscenities and throwing bricks at the car. All the way to Tehran we feared for our safety and lives.”

Talking about their flight from the Islamic Republic, Arash said: “To tell you the truth, from the moment we got out of the prison gates we never felt safe, actually quite the opposite. We feared attack by Islamic vigilantes and agents of the Islamic Regime. All venues of work and employment were closed to us and we were constantly under surveillance; so we decided to leave the country for our own safety and seek refuge elsewhere.”

Arezoo and Arash are now in one of the neighboring countries awaiting relocation by the UNHCR. They wished not to have been forced to leave the country of their birth, but pray to be able to serve the Lord wherever they are being sent to.

FCNN has prepared an extensive interview with this young couple which will be broadcast soon.

“This interview promises to be a moving testimony to the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ in their lives and the lives of many others who have been saved by His grace,” the news agency said.

Michael Ireland is the senior international correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station.

Publication date: November 25, 2011

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