God Story
Saved in prison

“They put me in a 3×3 ft cell. Out of six months in prison, I spent 55 days in solitary confinement. I regard them as the best days of my life because in this place I was comforted and knew the Lord.”

Pastor Nehad Hasan, a Kurdish man from Syria, had a long journey of coming to faith in Christ, which culminated in his experiencing God’s presence and healing while in jail as a political prisoner.

 

Questions about faith

Nehad came from a non-Christian background and went through many difficulties in his childhood, which caused him to start asking questions about faith from the age of 12. He shared how he first heard God’s voice as a young man in the Kurdish militia. He was listening to a Christian radio programme that was discussing the woman caught in adultery, and it made him realise that none of us is without sin.

His journey towards faith in Christ continued as he became more involved in the Kurdish cause. The Kurds are one of the world’s largest people groups without a state and have been embroiled in a century-long fight for rights, autonomy, and ultimately an independent Kurdistan.

“I felt I didn’t have a home country, identity, or dignity,” Nehad said. “At that time, someone got me a book about how to become a new person. It discusses the troubles a person goes through, and at the end of the book there’s a small prayer. I prayed this prayer and found some words that I needed.”

 

A Friend Closer Than a Brother

Nehad was imprisoned twice when he attempted to escape Syria to Europe. The first imprisonment was for just 12 days, while the second was for a period of six months. It was during this second time behind bars that God revealed Himself to Nehad in a special way and worked powerfully in his life.

“I heard the voice of the Lord,” Nehad said. “He told me He loves me. In this place, I was filled with the Holy Spirit… I was comforted and found a friend who is closer than a brother.”

 

Saviour in the small boat

He received physical and emotional healing and started witnessing to other prisoners.

“They accused me of being an apostate, but I told them that Jesus is my Savior. He is alive when all other prophets died. I told them it is like being stranded at sea trying to get the crew of a large ship to notice you, but they don’t, and then a man comes in a small boat holding a light and coming to save me. I asked them, ‘Should I choose to continue trying to get the attention of the crew or go with the man in the small boat?’ This is Jesus,” Nehad said.

Eventually the prison warden helped him get out of jail, and Nehad went to Lebanon, where he started studying to become a pastor. When the civil war broke out in Syria, Nehad’s family also moved to Lebanon, and they were critical of his Christian faith and theological studies.

“Today my father is asking me to return to my old religion. My uncles rejected me, but a year ago, one of them called me, saying, ‘Nehad, I am going to Europe and the first thing I am doing is to become a believer.’ My cousins also believed. One of my sisters believed and got baptised. I know many members in my family are proud of me.”

The original story was shortened.
Source: SAT-7

 

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