Let Justice Shine – Reza

15 December 2020

God delights in justice. As part of our Let Justice Shine series, we’re telling the stories of several people we’ve supported through the Christian Legal Centre and cases we’ve taken on, seeking and pursuing Godly justice.

Reza grew up in Iran, in a Shia Muslim family. He attended a mosque, fasted, prayed and attended all the religious festivals. “That was the faith I grew up with,” he explains. “Islam was part of me.” As he got older, he got into trouble. Eventually he fled Iran, fearing for his life.

He arrived in the UK in 2003, seeking asylum. But his application was refused and he ended up on the streets. He began shoplifting and became addicted to drugs. Living on the streets he met Leigh, who had also become drug-addicted and then homeless. They both made use of a church-run soup kitchen, and over time their relationship with church members grew.

Church members would come and visit them, praying with them, and sharing the gospel. “They used to come and bring us food, and at Christmas they’d bring us a parcel with socks and gloves,” Reza remembers.

Reza and Leigh began to attend church, and eventually both found salvation in Jesus. The church arranged a wedding, and now Reza, Leigh and their little daughter Bonnie are very involved in the church. Reza helps with the church’s outreach to Iranian Muslims and translates services into Farsi.

But Reza faces separation from Leigh and Bonnie, and deportation to Iran, where he could experience imprisonment, persecution and possibly even death (under Sharia law, for a Muslim, baptism is punishable by death).

With the support of his church, Reza applied for asylum in 2016 – but his application was rejected. Shockingly, the ruling suggested that Reza was not a genuine Christian convert and would not be at risk on return to Iran. Now, we are helping Reza to challenge that decision.

Whatever the outcome, Reza is trusting God:

“I follow Jesus every second of my life. I’m not following Jesus because of my case, or even to come out of drug addiction. I follow Jesus because he’s shown me real life … I praise God that I’ve got an eternal passport with him.

Please pray for Reza and his family, and that his application will be successful.

At Christian Concern, we have the honour of seeking justice. As we approach Christmas, we are reminded once more of the message of King Jesus – that his ways are good for individuals and for society.
This advent, will you help us stand for justice?
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