Life threatened, Iranian believer finds refuge in U.S.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP)–Babak Bighash was an electrical engineer for a major government agency in Iran, commuting more than 800 miles every two weeks between his home and workplace. He was a fairly devout Muslim yet he had unanswered questions about Islam.About 10 years ago, he managed to pick up a Christian radio broadcast in Iran, and he heard the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery.”After I heard the answer of Jesus and how He could pardon her, it was like a light of faith in my heart,” Bighash told Baptist Press in an interview from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he has found fellowship and support at Vista Grande Baptist Church.”Before I heard about Jesus, what I heard was violence, kill, kill. More than 300 times in the Quran you can read that Allah says kill people by this specification.”The question had lingered in his mind, “If God wants someone killed for a sin, why did He create them?””If He didn’t want them, He wouldn’t create them,” Bighash said. “And a lot more things, like the difference between man and woman in Islam. I prayed in Islam for years. Sometimes for two or three hours I would be in the room, just me and Allah, and I prayed, prayed, prayed with Quran. But as soon as I came out and I left the house, I didn’t have any faith. I didn’t have any result of my conversation with Allah.”After hearing that Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery rather than punishing her, Bighash returned to his hometown and sought more information on Jesus and Christianity. His first attempt was to approach a group of what he thought were Armenian Christians. “Unfortunately they didn’t help me and they told me, ‘We cannot talk with you.’ After a lot of insistence, they told me, ‘OK,’ and they gave me two books,” he recounted. “But when I came back home and read the books, one of them was about the building of a church and the other was about the king of Armenia that brought the Christian religion for them.”So I came back the next day and I said, ‘Excuse me. I paid a lot of money for these books but these are not about answering my questions.’ So they told me, ‘We cannot help you.’ And really I was mad at them, and I said, ‘If you cannot talk about your belief, close the door of this church.’ They gave me an address for another small group of Christians. They told me, ‘We didn’t believe them and we think they are infidels, but they can talk with you about Jesus.'”Bighash made contact with someone from the group, and that person referred him to another man, a Christian in an underground church in Iran.”He told me the name of a street and said, ‘I will wear black shirt and brown shoes and I will have a newspaper in my left hand. You come like a taxi, and I will be your passenger.’ We started talking, and I asked my question. He answered me and he gave me a tract,” Bighash said. “He started to teach me about the plan of God for creation, what happened and then how God tried to bring us back to Himself.”We had several appointments in my car and sometimes in the park. After two or three months, he asked me, ‘Do you believe Jesus as your God and your Savior, and do you believe that Jesus came?’ I said yes. It was in March 1999 when Jesus came into my life.”The man introduced Bighash to other Muslims who had converted to Christianity, and he joined them regularly for worship and prayer. About six months later, Bighash’s wife told him she noticed a difference in him. Before, if someone cut him off in traffic, he yelled at them, but now he was calm, she said. He didn’t tell her he had become a Christian because he feared repercussions from his mother, who was a strong Muslim and who ensured that the family attended the local mosque.But one night Bighash was praying at home to God and his wife woke up and asked what he was doing. He told her to go back to sleep and he would explain in the morning. The next day, he called his pastor and asked what to do. The two agreed that it was time to share his faith with his wife.She wanted more information, so the pastor’s wife met her regularly under the guise of providing cooking lessons or going shopping, and within about three months, Bighash’s wife accepted Jesus. They began going to church as a couple, along with their 3-year-old daughter.”Sometimes the people who sang in church sang about kids. So my kid could remember this song, and one day when we were shopping, she started talking and singing this song,” Bighash recounted. “It was very dangerous, and so I told my wife, ‘Control her. Try to tell her don’t sing and don’t tell about where we were.’ But it was hard because she was just 3 years old.”Soon the family stopped going to the mosque, and Bighash’s mother reported them to the secret police. The mosque police started sending threatening messages to Bighash by calling on the telephone or by throwing stones at his house with warning messages attached. So he stopped inviting other Christians to his home for secret meetings, and after about a year with no contact from the mosque police, Bighash figured he was safe.He invited Christians to his home for worship again, and somehow the mosque police learned of the gathering and arrested Bighash and some others.

Online Editor
Aaron Earls
Lifeway
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