Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Examining Freedom

I continue to believe--or hope that I will someday return to an Iran whose government is subject to the rule of law and whose leaders respect the rights of their citizens and treat them with decency (Haleh Esfandiari, 222).

Tonight I finished reading Haleh Esfandiari's memoir My Prison, My Home. This is an account of her prison experience in her homeland of Iran between 2006 and 2007. A woman and academic who holds both Iranian and American citizenships found herself victim to the Islamic regime after being falsely accused of numerous charges against the Iranian state such as 'spying' 'crimes against the government' and being part of a 'velvet revolution,' or attempt to overthrow the ruling powers in Iran.

After her eight month ordeal and pain resulting from scars i hope never to incur, she is hopeful and believes in positive change for her homeland. I read her words and i am amazed.

For those who do follow current events, one would know that within the country of Iran today, many things are happening. A generation of people my age and older are voicing in peaceful ways that they are ready for the basic Western freedoms that we take for granted everyday of our lives. These liberties include a small sampling of the following: freedom of press and speech, or speaking against a government when not agreement with it.

I by no means am an expert on Iranian history, culture, current social upheaval and governmental practices. But i do know one thing, what is happening in Iran today is given full credence and credibility in Haleh Esfandiari's book.

How easy it is for me to not think about the freedoms I enjoy daily. How easy it is for me to forget that I live in a country that i can enjoy the color blue, or even red and know that the government is not going to invade my home, rape my body or send me to prison for disagreeing.

I am reminded of our simple freedoms in Mrs. Esfandiari's book. I am reminded of our ultimate freedom we have in Christ when surrendering our lives to Him also. Here is a man, our Jesus, coming to Earth and willing giving himself up for torture, ridicule, slander and ultimate death because He loves us more than we can ever know.

While our political freedom rests in this country by laws and words written hundreds of years ago, along with the military arm to enforce it; I am so very thankful for the personal freedom and love in Christ I have, after events originally transpired thousands of years ago.

I don't usually bring both matters of academia and faith into the same picture. Yet, I cannot but be reminded that many still die for the ability to taste and experience freedom and that we have a Savior who died for ultimate liberty for all peoples, whether in the United States, Russia, China, or even Iran.

Sister E

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