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 Article
 Persecution: I am an Atheist

Joe was an arrogant fool who flaunted his atheism; He blasted that declaration on every street corner in America. He thought, I have, freedom of speech, I can say whatever I want about a non-existent God. Joe incorrectly thought He could carry on the same kind of philosophy in Iran where Islam was the dominate religion. He went there for a temporary job assignment and his big mouth would get him in more trouble than he had ever could imagine.  He left with his wife and two children for the six month assignment. Little did he know most of that time he would spend in a place he could not imagine.

Joe and his clan went to the airport to board their flight to Iran. They rented their house out in Texas and sold all the goods they would not need for their extended stay out of the States. Fortunately, Joe had been studying the Iranian language along with his wife and children. They had enough working knowledge of the language to survive in the country. The flight would take about 12 hours from Texas. They had already secured a house to live in months before they departed for Iran. Joe would work for his company’s foreign affiliate and his wife would be a stay at home mom. Betty, his wife warned, “Don’t be a fool and spout your atheist beliefs in Iran; you will get yourself in big trouble.” Joe just rolled his eyes and shrugged “whatever”.

They landed in Iran, and left the plane without incident. They traveled to their new home and settled in for their six month adventure. Joe’s first day of work went pretty normally but this would be the last time. Joe started spouting his atheism in a company that was 90% Islamic. The native employees in the company just rolled their eyes and walked away when Joe started his verbal barrage. One man, Xavier, was not your typical Islamic follower. He was a known terrorist who had engaged in terrorist activities in other Middle Eastern countries. He came under scrutiny by the intelligence community for his activities. They could never pin any specific terrorist acts on him but they were getting close. Xavier came to work at Joe’s company to get out of the terrorist mainstream to throw authorities off his trail.

Joe started his atheist spiel in front of Xavier. “Joe I am a strong believer in Allah and I know he exists; you better shut your mouth about your atheist trash. You better stop your philosophical garbage about a non-existent God.  STOP NOW OR YOU WILL REGRET YOUR FOOLISH TALK! Joe ignored Xavier’s threat and went right on spouting his atheistic religion.  Xavier stormed out in a crazy huff and left the company. Joe thought that would be the last he would see of Xavier. Joe was so wrong!

Early the next morning three heavily, armed, masked men dressed in dark clothing stormed Joe’s house. “JOE GET DRESSED! GET DRESSED! You’re coming with us now!” Betty screamed, Joe don’t go with them! Don’t go with them! “LADY SHUTUP OR I WILL KILL YOU RIGHT HERE! One of the terrorists threatened.  Joe went along without incident; the kidnappers dragged him out the front door and threw him into the back of the van. Throwing Joe into the van was no easy feat. He was a very obese man weighing over 300lbs.He had a black, bushy, beard with dark, brown piercing eyes.  Obviously, the terrorists were not impressed by his size or appearance. The van sped off into the early morning shadows. The van screeched through the narrow streets of Iran.  Joe was blindfolded and gagged; his arms restrained by a heavy nylon rope. The van drove way out into the country, stopping at a remote farmhouse miles outside the main city. The terrorists dragged Joe out of the van and pulled him into the farmhouse. Xavier hit Joe over the head with, the butt of his rifle, knocking Joe unconscious for hours.

Joe woke up to dark figures surrounding him with guns pointed in his face yelling at him in their native tongue . He could make out a few words. He picked up on “infidel”, “atheist fool”, “and torture”.  He slipped in and out of consciousness from the repeated beatings they gave him over the next 48 hours. Betty was out of her mind because Joe had disappeared 2 days earlier. She had no idea where he could be. She feared he could be dead by now.

One week later she received a video of the terrorists beating Joe mercilessly with steel pipes and pieces of lumber. Joe looked like a battered piece of watermelon both of his eyes swollen shut and his face puffed up from being hammered by the weapons so many times. She watched in horror as her husband was beaten and tortured by the Islamic extremists. They were cursing him and yelling at him in broken English. They screamed, ”DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ALLAH EXISTS? INFIDEL, DO YOU BELIEVE ALLAH EXISTS? RENOUNCE YOUR ATHEISM AND CONFESS ALLAH EXISTS!”

Weeks went by without any trace of Joe. Joe had lost all touch with the outside world and it was amazing he was still alive after all the severe beatings he had received. The last “session” the kidnappers broke both of Joe’s legs and arms. They loaded his broken body into the van and drove back to the main city. They sped by his residence, in the middle of his night, pushing him out of the van. Betty woke up from the commotion outside. She ran out the door and found Joe lying in a heap in the driveway.

She dialed “911” getting emergency medical help out to her house. They loaded Joe into the ambulance and rushed him to the hospital. Joe clinging for life in the ambulance started remembering his childhood friend. He recalled one instance where his friend told him about Jesus dying for his sins. Joe thought -Jesus if you exist save me now!

 

For the director of music. Of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.                                                    Psalm 14:1

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Added On 08/14/2015 
 
 
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