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.

Restless and Vocal until The Motherland is Liberated

Someone has been praying, crying, longing and taking necessary steps for nearly 30 years for his motherland not only to receive the light of freedom, but also to shine. He would love to boast of his motherland one day honoring freedom of rights, speech and belief. He himself was terribly persecuted in his motherland and was very close to losing his life, but fortunately found a way to save his life and escape. 
While tears poured from his eyes, he said that he had seen many lands more beautiful than his motherland in many parts of the world, but had missed her because of his family, friends and some good memories. He longs for the walls of separation and hostilities to be brought down in his motherland. Then people will experience in a practical way how beautiful a country can be if there is freedom in every area.
It is amazing that he calls his county of birth “motherland”, his mother’s land, even though it is an Islamic country ruled under the Islamic law. This phrase does not match Islam which gives less right to mothers than fathers. The father is the second ruler after the government in order to make sure that everything in his household is in line with Islam. He is called the owner of his wives (Quran 53:2), hence the mother is called the property of her husband. He can go everywhere he likes, but she is asked to sit at home quietly and not to go out (Quran 33:33). She brings children into the world, but does not have any right over her children if she is divorced. After the divorce she also does not have any right to visit her children who grew in her heart; children belong to their father. As an inheritance mothers receive only one eighth of their husbands’ wealth, including lands, in Islam. In such a restricting, harsh and masculine culture, it is amazing that a country is called the “Motherland”. 
This word, like some other influential words, has been a powerful tool for many exiled Iranians, in particular Christians, to voice their longings to their fellow men and women. They have been writing poems and songs; reciting, singing and broadcasting them via every media channel they can in order to express their restlessness for their motherland. The mindset in Iran had never been Christianized under the rule of moderate kings as much as it is now under the rule of the tyrannical Islamic Republic of Iran. Just express your concern about your motherland in a poem and read it on a radio or TV program or put it on a website. It will shake many. 
The word “motherland” is from the pre-Islamic era and it has remained in usage until now in Islamic countries. The ancient culture attributed the honor of ownership of the country to the most compassionate one in the family, the mother. Only a compassionate heart is able to cultivate and look after the land well.
In some other nations, countries are also called “Fatherland” because of the patriotic nature of their cultures. It encapsulates the way people can love their birth places and want to protect them from enemies. No matter what a birth place is called, it is a wonderful testimony of God that is left among various people groups whereby they can relate their birth places to the hearts of their parents in a loving way and care for their well-being. This will help them not to forget it as they do not normally forget their mothers and fathers. 
Maybe the love for motherland or fatherland and a heartfelt devotion for its well-being are gifts from the Creator of the universe. Maybe He wanted to endow people with compassionate, earnest and tireless longing so that they could seek the best for their nations to the extent that their deliverance could also become the means of deliverance for others. As we say, “To be blessed is for blessing others.” 
It is no wonder that the prophet Isaiah cries restlessly not only for the salvation of Jerusalem but also for her righteousness and salvation to shine like a burning lamp among others:
For Zion's sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until its righteousness goes out as brightness, and her salvation as a burning lamp. (Isa. 62:1, MKJV)
These words reveal the height of Isaiah’s longing, prayer and mission for his land and nation to revive and further become the salt (righteousness) and light (burning lamp) for others. Not only did he want his nation to be liberated in spirit, but also to become a light of liberation for others.
Why would a person have a big picture in mind and a heart for his/her country and nation to become a bridge of blessing to other nations? Isn’t it enough to see that your own family, community or country has achieved success and is doing well? Why worry about the wellbeing of other nations?
Longing for true freedom, or having it, includes others too. True freedom can neither be limited by an individual’s nor a family’s nor even a nation’s motives; if it is limited, then it is not true freedom. When a heart becomes free, it changes and then spreads its light as a shining lamp to its surroundings. In a similar way, a city with freedom shines to other cities or a country to other countries. One reason that many people from various nations have been moving or desiring to move to the West is because of freedom in the West. True freedom is extraordinarily good and influential. It creates compassion or care in you and thereby enables you to see the miseries of others and to take initiatives for their liberty with the uttermost of your efforts, no matter who those others may be, friends or foes. It shines and changes people from all walks of life and makes them blessings to others too. So, any person touched by this freedom should not rest or become silent if his/her nation and others are experiencing any kind of darkness or misery. Any person should not rest or become silent until the splendor of his/her salvation reaches near and far. 
As it was in Isaiah’s time, faith in the true God is misunderstood by many. The values of Christ are unknown or misunderstood and thereby are not given a chance to shine in many places. Ignorance and misunderstanding will not go away unless the values of Christ are made clear to the extent that they become lights for people at home and abroad. This will not happen unless the followers of Christ become compassionate towards those who are drowning in ignorance and confusion and help them to see and receive the light. One great hindrance to the Gospel is that we, as the followers of Christ, have retreated and do not feel restless for the darkness around us. The darkness will be removed if it becomes the subject of our continual prayers and efforts. 

We are the vehicle of Jesus Christ’s sincere concern for our nation and others. He has called us to promote our position in Him and spread His light through our unceasing prayers, through our own individual mission and through encouraging others to take the light to coming generations until many take refuge in Him.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article showing the passion for the conversion of a culture into the liberty of true righteousness. A law internalised and desired not externally coerced and despised.