UPDATE: Halfway through the writing of this article, Shahrokh stopped communicating with us. We do not know what happened to him. We really hope his family are away or his internet is down. We don’t want to assume the worst, but the possibility that Iran discovered his speaking to the American Press is real and we hope to update you soon with his status and to let you know he is ok.
*Names and some circumstances have been changed to protect Shahrokh an his family.
President Trump’s executive order issuing a temporary travel ban to 7 Muslim-majority countries, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” included Iran. The mainstream media and left were outraged, labeling the order a “Muslim ban.” Multiple federal courts ending up striking the order down, arguing it was created on the basis of religious prejudice.
You can read the executive order linked above, and see no mention of religion. Except for this:
…The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.
In Layman’s terms, the Executive Order made exception to the travel ban from the designated countries if you are a member of a minority religion, have a history of religious or racial persecution and reside in one of the designated countries you can still get to the US.
The fury from the Left and the tears from Democratic Senate Majority Leader for the residents of those countries who, god forbid, would have to put off their travel to the US for 90 days so tougher screening procedures could be put in place was quick and severe. It also showed their true lack of compassion for the people who are truly suffering in those countries. This is not an article to tell you all about them. This is an article to tell you about one courageous Christian who reached out to us at Halsey News to tell his story, and maybe get a Christian or other human rights group interested in helping him escape Iran.
Meet Shahrokh, A Persecuted Iranian Christian
What is it like to be a Christian in Iran?
We know that they are not like the Muslim citizens of the country. They are born as a second class citizen. There are reports and pictures of Iranian Christians having their lips burned off for not fasting on Ramadan. Being hung for Blasphemy and many other atrocious crimes. Shahrokh came to us, because he is in the most dangerous position. He was born a Muslim and he and his sister converted to Christianity in their teens. This is not a small thing in Iran. This is punishable by death.
There have been Christians in Iran since Roman times. Traditionally they got along with the majority Shiite Persian Muslims in Iran. There are ancient and modern churches in Iran, they have schools. Even today, Iran likes to trot out the occasional Persian Jew or Christian to tell the press how much they love Iran (and hate the US and Israel.
Shahrokh tells stories of how he is asked questions about Jesus by his Muslim neighbors and he never knows if they are asking because they are curious to because they want to report him to the regime. He has been warned several times by the government that he can be punished severely if he is caught speaking to Muslims about the religion and they have threatened his family. Christian women are afraid to date him because he was born Muslim and they are afraid he could be a spy and he is banned from marrying any other type of women. His sister still has to wear the Muslim veil or she could be killed.
Sharokh talks about wishing he could study the Bible more thoroughly. Unfortunately it is not permitted to import new copies into the countries and those who posses them do not easily lend them out. He has heard most things about the Bible from word of mouth. Shahrokh says this leads him to another huge problem. He has learned in the Bible that the Jewish people should be in the Holy Land and in Possession of Jerusalem. He is a huge supporter of Israel, and doesn’t want to see any harm come to them. He would eventually like to visit the country. This is almost as bad as blasphemy in Iran. I asked him why he would express that opinion in the country when it is so dangerous and he told me that you can hide the truth but it doesn’t make it any less true.
Shahrokh is not an activist. He is not looking to replace the regime or cause problems. He is a fashion designer by trade, making the most beautiful Persian style dresses. He longs to make it to America or Europe to meet a girl, get married, have children and see women wearing his fashions on the street. He wants to see his sister be able to go to church with her hair uncovered without fearing that should be tortured and killed. Mostly, he just wants to be able to live his life the way that he feels God wants him to live.
The most ironic part of this awful situation is that President Trump was forced to sign a new executive order, removing the provision for religious minorities to seek refuge. The left claims to want to help refugees, those fleeing persecution, while record numbers of Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and our friends in Iran executed 25 Sunnis for “religious crimes.” While the mainstream media portrayed President Trump as favoring the portrayal of Christians as white, bigoted, rich, privileged, the sad reality is the most oppressed have names that US Customs Agents would have to do a once-over on: Armin, Mohammed, Atousa, Allen and Jahan. These Christians are darker skinned than the entire Huffington Post editorial board. The oppressed minorities in Iran don’t look any different from their Muslim countrymen. They just think differently, which is a serious sin in Iran and among the Left in America.
Let Shahrokh’s story serve as a warning to those pretending to actually care about refugees on the Left. There is a genocide going on in the Middle East and it is not from a lack of jobs, climate change or any other ridiculous reason you have promoted. There are radical Islamic lunatics. They are either extremely powerful or all powerful in countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and others. We owe it not just to the minorities in those country who are being stoned, beaten, enslaved, set on fire and beheaded to give them priority in getting out. We also owe it to all the Muslims and other oppressed people from these countries who have escaped that e not give their oppressors the opportunity to bring their lunacy here.