Forootan started his trek with a heavy heart. His pocket held only a small amount of money, and he would possibly never see his parents or girlfriend again.

The Iranian church is growing rapidly, and so is persecution against followers of Jesus. Recent raids against house churches brought several believers into jail, including Forootan.

After 105 horrid days in one of the dirtiest prisons in Iran, Forootan was released on bail. His parents had given the deed of their house to authorities as bail.

Forootan noticed police officials followed him everywhere, and he did not feel free to speak of his prison experience. Out of safety for the underground church and his family, Forootan decided he must leave Iran and go to Turkey. His girlfriend urged Forootan to go for his safety.

Police confiscated Forootan’s passport, so the route out would be a secret journey through the mountains on foot to the Turkey boarder. The journey is long and rugged with several rises and falls in elevation. After many hours, Forootan entered Turkey, still hoping to someday return to the country he loved, his Iran.

Despite all that is wrong inside Iran, Forootan loves his country and prays for its people and leaders. He believes one day his King will return and help all people to believe in God’s plan. We in America need to pray for our land and its leaders, and live in the hope of Jesus return!

Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about praying for the persecuted church. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at pastorkimwenzel@gmail.com or 918-919-1490. Hear more about the persecuted church at 6 p.m., every Saturday on KWXC 88.9 FM Christian talk radio.