October 3, 2019
Dabrina Tamraz grew up as the daughter of a pastor living under the Iranian regime. Alongside church services and bible studies, her childhood memories are tainted by government surveillance, harassment, interrogation, and detention. In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya English, Tamraz tells the story of life as a persecuted Christian in Iran.
Tamraz says she feels devastated thinking about her family and Christians in Iran, but is grateful to US President Donald Trump and his administration for being “a loud voice” in raising awareness about their persecution.
“America has an influence on Iran and can effect change. I’m aware that Trump administration officials are mentioning cases of Christian persecution in Iran in their negotiations. Religious freedom is a topic of focus for President Trump,” said Tamraz.
Tamraz met with Trump in the White House in July, alongside 27 survivors of religious persecution from all over the world, and asked the president to raise the issue facing her family and other Christians in Iran. Trump said he would, and has recently raised the issue of religious freedom publicly.
“This fundamental right is under growing threat around the world. Americans will never tire in our effort to defend and promote freedom of worship and religion. We want and support religious liberty for all,” said Trump.
Trump said that one “ironclad American commitment” is to protect religious leaders. Tamraz herself is now a religious leader; following in her father’s legacy she became a Christian pastor, but in Europe, where she does not face imprisonment.
She said that she still holds out hope for religious freedom in her home country of Iran.
“It’s not a big hope, but I do have hope. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing in speaking out. I trust that God is working, doing signs and wonders in Iran, despite the persecution,” she said.