’Finding a Job, and Rejecting Sex, Is a Constant’: Iranian Christian Woman Challenges Culture of Sex Slavery in Tehran
by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Single mothers in Iran are embracing Christianity as a way out of sex slavery.
Farah, an Iranian woman whose family converted to Christianity after her brother was healed of Hepatitis-C from a prayer inspired by an illegal Christian television broadcast, spoke to International Christian concern about the role her faith played in propelling her into an unusual ministry for Iran’s abused women.
“Single moms are looked upon as prostitutes,” Farah said of the conditions she faced when she was kicked out of her home by her father for converting to Christianity and forced to move to one of Tehran’s lowest-income districts. “The men look at them as how can they be used, how they can become temporary wives.”
When Farah moved to her new neighborhood, many of the women, both married and single, were selling themselves into prostitution in order to stay afloat financially. It quickly became known that Farah's Christian faith was the source of her ability to trust God for her provision and stay out of prostitution.
“I would be walking my daughter as a toddler to school, and once a guy stopped me and yelled at me that I was destroying everything,” Farah said. “Now you are responsible for us not getting paid, so now you have to be responsible for the wife’s and kids’ food and water,” the man told her.
Farah’s faith witnessed to the women in the neighborhood that they did not need to sell themselves in order to be provided for, so much so that when Ava, a former prostitute, became a Christian and decided to get a job with a severely reduced wage that could barely afford her a living, she declined an outright offer from her boss to receive a living wage in exchange for sex.
“Finding a job, and rejecting sex, is a constant,” Farah explained of Ava’s predicament.
Tragically, Farah was forced to flee Iran this year when her sister was arrested and authorities requested she turn herself into local police. She lamented that her 18 years of ministry to the poor women of Tehran were over.
“The reason we loved staying in Iran is because we saw such need for Christ,” she said. “There was such a purity and community in the house churches that I haven’t found outside of Iran. It was so beautiful. Under the persecution, there was such a beautiful love for Christ I have seen nowhere else.”
Open Doors USA estimates that 800,000 Christians, many part of an underground church in a country that disallows conversions away from Islam or any of the legally recognized forms of Christianity, now populate Iran.