Terrorism and getting beyond the fear of evil

I COME FROM A culture full of myths, fears, and superstitions. The "evil eye" is a real and serious business in the Near East, something that most Iranians fear.

As a child, I was a handful, to put it mildly—too lively for those who cared for me. And in order to discipline me, people told me I was possessed by devils. As a result, I was constantly petrified of myself, of what I was told was within me. The thought of these devils in me would cause me to behave myself for a time, until I forgot about them. Then I would again be reminded about "them" and once more struggle with the feeling that evil was within me.

I blamed those evil spirits—and those who had made them so real to me—for the many times I felt unsure of myself. The children at school used to make fun of me and laugh at me. I never dared stick up for myself. I had become timid and frightened of everything around me.

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Prayer about drugs in school
September 1, 2003

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