My name is Azad Barwari. I was born in Iraq – Kurdistan and I received my
bachelor degree in Arabic literature. I was Kurdish nationalist. Kurds used
to say that we have no friends but the mountains. I was fanatic for the
Kurdish cause.
I was raised as a secular Muslim Kurd and used to fast and pray during
Ramadan but I was not a religious person. During Ramadan in 2000,
someone handed me a New Testament in Arabic. I began reading the Bible
for the first time! I loved the Sermon on the Mount. In Quran, Muhammad
says, “God said…” but I was surprised that Jesus said, “I tell you…” I liked
the way Christ speaks authoritatively in the Bible.
This was something new to me as Qur’an denies the deity of Christ, the
Trinity, the crucifixion, Jesus death and Resurrection. Though I had been
keeping fasting in Ramadan, I stopped practicing it since 2000 and I put
my faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

I fled Kurdistan to Lebanon in December 2000 due to the threats to my family in northern of Iraq because of my conversion to Christianity. My brother-in-law tried to kill me therefore I decided to resort to Lebanon. Because I was illegal immigrant in Lebanon, so they put me in prison for about two years. At this time, the Lord began to deal with me in prison. He changed me from the inside out. I became convinced that God is my Heavenly Father and I knew I was saved. Christ Jesus freed from being Kurdish nationalist.

In prison, I learned how to forgive others and not be controlled by
my flesh. I experienced freedom out of fear because Christ opened
the way to heaven with His blood shed on the cross. He gave me
purpose in life.
I needed Christ to be my friend, He became my Brother
I needed love, He gave me “agape” love
I needed forgiveness, He forgave all of my sins past, present,
I needed peace, He gave me His genuine peace
I needed power, He empowered me
Christ made me part of His family under One Shepherd
I was eventually released from prison and I got connected with a
local Evangelical Free Church in Beirut in 2005. Working with this
church, I began to plant the first Kurdish church in Beirut in 2006,
and I was ordained the first Kurdish pastor in the world. Because
of my refugee religious status and as a Christian minister, I was
granted a visa as a refugee to America.


in 2009 through the United Nations Refugee Agency. Soon after my arrival in Georgia – Atlanta, I began my first Kurdish language TV show called “Voice of Evangelism” where I produced more than 300 Christian TV programs in Kurdish language. In this program, I did many weekly studies about the Bible and Qur’an and this was live program for the first time in the history of Kurds.While still working with the Alfady TV station, Magnolia Baptist Church in Orange County embraced my service. In 2017, I became a staff pastor to reach out Arabic speaking Muslims and plant a church. Meantime, in late 2018 I began to make regular trips to San Diego County to share my new Christian faith to reach out 8000 Kurds residing in San Diego East County. Over the past several years, I’ve hosted holiday outreach events, where I distributed food and also shared my testimony with Kurdish families and at Kurdish mosque in El Cajon. As a result, some Kurds began to respond to the love and truth of Christ by allowing me to pray in the name Jesus. In 2019, I opened first Kurdish center in El Cajon and established first non-profit organization called the Kurdish Christian Church.

 Pastor Barwari

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