About Daniel Shayesteh

Dr Daniel was born into a Muslim family in Northern Iran. He became a radical Muslim leader and teacher of Islam in the militant Free Islamic Revolutionary Movement, closely supporting Ayatollah Khomeini. However, after falling out of favor with Khomeini’s political group, he escaped to Turkey where there began an amazing journey to faith in Jesus Christ.

Daniel's mission is to help others understand and lovingly respond to those who do not know Christ. He is also deeply concerned for the future of Western societies, their loss of confidence in Judeo-Christian values, and their persistent naivete about the implications of the world-wide Islamic revival.

What Are Young Muslims Searching For?

Life has become unbearable for many young Muslims in Islamic countries, especially when they are able to see other lifestyles through the television and internet. Majority of Islamic countries are social, political, economic and moral prisons for these young Muslims. As someone said, “Yes, our religion is perfect, but in imprisoning us.”

On one side, the Islamic culture is trying to tie their minds, hearts, hands and legs with a totalitarian principle in order to keep the 7th century Saudi Arabian culture alive, but on the other hand the egalitarian voice of the west is loud and drawing their attention . On one hand, Islamists are pushing and offering them a lot of money to stand for this oppressive culture with the utmost effort, on the other hand a voice is whispering in their ears, telling them, “do not allow anyone to belittle your youth”. Some are drawn to them for financial reasons as this is the only opportunity they have, but many are starting to question their religion and fleeing from their homelands in order to take refuge in a non-Islamic country with the hope of attaining their dignity and self-confidence. Since democratic country leaders have not shown interest in being, at the least, a moral support to young Muslims against their suppressive governments, they have found the solution in trying to take refuge in democratic countries.

Young people in Islamic countries are not able to plan their futures independently without the interference of ruling authorities. They are not able to speak freely with the person who they intend to build a future family. Males are watch-dogs over the females of their families in order to keep their freedom at zero, to preserve their so-called Islamic honor among the community. For this reason, married couples only start getting to know each other after marriage, when the internal layers of behaviors and family values come to surface.

To get their desired job or enroll in their desired university courses, they need to align themselves with the desires of the ruling authorities. In interviews, the quality of the candidate is secondary to favoritism. You need to prove that neither you nor any member of your family or clan disapproves of the ruling authority.

Moral corruption under the rule of committed Muslims is yet another threatening factor in blocking the way to success for young Muslims, especially females.  For example, since short term marriage is legal in Iran, a professor can force his student to be his wife for a day or a week in order to grant her a pass mark. Not only do we hear of such instances from many young Muslims who leave Iran but other accounts of a similar nature have been recorded on the internet.

Young people’s protests in Iran, which cost many lives several years ago, was proof of their frustrations and dissatisfaction of the Sharia of Islam which has made life unbearable for them.

Social restriction and corruption vary in Islamic countries depending on moderation or fundamentalism. However, Islamic countries feel like prisons in both cases when compared to the democratic countries. That’s why, when many young Muslims see democracy though the eyes of Christianity, they become more open to Christian beliefs.

What a wonderful opportunity for us to reveal the Truth of life in Christ to them and teach them that He is the absolute source of freedom in every aspect of life. He first said:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4: 18)

And then said:
Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matthew 28: 19-20a)
Let us invest with the light and love of Christ into the lives of these young Muslims so that they can restore their God given dignity, shine to their families and communities, and become the means of Christ in freeing their nations. They are searching for freedom; we, the children of freedom, can reveal this to them.