An Iranian interrogator known for persecuting religious minorities surrendered his life to Jesus Christ after a Christian woman locked in solitary confinement shared the Gospel with him, Open Doors USA reports.
Noushin, a house church leader in the predominantly Muslim country, was arrested for her faith and forced into solitary confinement for three days.
"I wasn't ready to go to prison," she told Open Doors. "I knew it was a dirty place, a place where people are tortured and locked up in solitary confinement. I was afraid that I would be so fearful that I would give up all the names of the members of house church. I even feared that I would deny my faith if they tortured me."
However, after three days of being locked in solitary confinement, Noushin began tentatively sharing the Gospel with her interrogator.
"We talked about Jesus for hours until finally the interrogator gave his heart to Jesus. We prayed together," she recalled.
"It's an honor for me to talk about Jesus," Noushin told the guard. "You also need Jesus in your life. I cannot be indifferent toward you. I want you to experience the joy and blessing of salvation. I can't keep silent about this."
The Open Doors report notes that the Gospel has continued to spread throughout Iran despite immense persecution from the the regime led by President Hassan Rouhani.
Under Rouhani's regime, thousands of religious minorities have been imprisoned, including Christian converts, Sunni Muslims, Sufi Muslims and dissenting Shiite Muslims, according to a report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
"The government of Iran continues to engage in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused," said the report.
Iranian Christian Morad Mokhtari, who fled the country in 2006, recently told Fox News that many of the Christians, who make up less than 1% of Iran's population, faced charges related to "home church activities."
"Iranian religious authorities prefer that they [converts to Christianity] leave Iran because the authorities can't control them," Mokhatari said. "Just their name is evangelism. Imagine someone says he is a Christian and has a Muslim name."
The report from the U.S. Comission on International Religious Freedom also documented intense persecution for Iranians who converted to Christianity
"Over the past year, there were numerous incidents of Iranian authorities raiding church services, threatening church members, and arresting and imprisoning worshipers and church leaders, particularly Evangelical Christian converts," the commission's report stated. "Since 2010, authorities arbitrarily arrested and detained more than 500 Christians throughout the country."
Despite the ongoing persecution, Open Doors is encouraging Christians in Iran to be brave and continue their ministry work. The organization is also urging Christians worldwide to pray for and support believers in Iran, and for the persecution to subside.