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-Iran: Crackdown on Christians

by Dr. D ~ January 13th, 2011

Map of Iran

                                                   (Iran via Wikipedia)

Since Christmas, Iranian authorities have arrested at least 70 Christians along with 2 pastors who are facing a possible indictment for apostasy which carries a death sentence. Converts from Islam are being targeted in particular.

Tehran Governor Morteza Tamadon was quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency  saying that the Christians were "like the Taliban," and have "inserted themselves into Islam like a parasite." He also indicated that more arrests were coming.

The current crackdown started around Christmas after Iranian intelligence agents discovered hundreds of new underground church groups, including 200 in the Muslim holy city of Mashad alone. Since then, Iranian security agents have been raiding the homes of Christians making arrests and confiscating Bibles, religious books and pictures, computers and personal documents.

According to the US State Department, Iran is increasingly one of the worst offenders of religious liberty. Also, persecution watchdog Open Doors lists Iran as the second worst persecutor of Christians in the world. According to Open Doors, the secret police continually monitor Christian services and pastors and believers are often subjected to arrests, questioning and beatings.

Response: In spite of all the persecution by the Iranian hard-line Islamist regime the number of Christians continues to grow exponentially. Actually some sources that I have access to are calling what is happening in Iran an actual ‘revival’ since nearly half a million Muslims have been converted to Christianity just in the last 5 years or so. 

This is why the regime is probably responding with arrests and persecution hoping to slow down the growth of the underground Christian movement in the country. According to official records there are suppose to be around 450,000-500,000 Christians in Iran. However, with the current revival there are far more than anyone really knows or can even determine.

It is a good time to remember all of our Iranian Christian brothers and sisters in our prayers. I am praying that Christian revival and growth continues in that country unabated in spite of all of the persecution.          *Top of the Blog

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