Suffering But Growing Church

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016
This is a testimony heard last month at an Elam conference. The story shows that the One who saw Hagar in her desert, still watches today and sends help. The rains had come to Isfahan and the streets were deserted. A solitary woman walked along an empty street in the downpour. She turned a corner and there was the river, its waters rising. There too was an empty bridge. There were no pedestrians, no...
Friday, May 06th, 2016
Iran’s church knows the reality of suffering, but it is seeing some miracles happen. At a recent ladies conference hosted by Elam, Esther came forward for prayer. She was losing her sight in her right eye. Worse, the hospital had told her she would go completely blind in that eye. The team prayed. With great excitement Esther said she could see more in the sick eye, but not completely. So the team prayed more....
Friday, April 08th, 2016
Christian prisoner Ebrahim Firouzi has asked for prayer for the church in Iran and for strength for himself as he serves his sentence.  He said he wants to stand firm for Christ in the face of the persecution he is enduring, but he needs support in the form of prayer. Ebrahim has been imprisoned since August 2013 because of his evangelistic ministry. He is serving a five year sentence, and is currently...
Friday, March 18th, 2016
As a very devout Muslim, Kambiz was a well respected figure in the local mosque in Iran. But he had a secret source of shame: his two daughters Solmaz and Farnaz. They had moved to a nearby country and had become Christians.  Whenever Kambiz spoke with his daughters on the phone they would share their faith with him and it would descend into an argument. He would yell and swear at them. He wanted nothing to do...
Thursday, February 18th, 2016
Twenty new believers in Iran have just received their first Bibles. Their pastor wonderfully describes them as being ‘happy like children who have been given Christmas gifts.’ The new believers were recently led to the Lord by a graduate of Elam’s leadership training course, who sent out a plea for Bibles soon after this group came to faith.  Within a couple of days the Bibles were in the hands of the new...
Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
American-Iranian Christian Saeed Abedini was freed from prison on 16 January, after being imprisoned for over three years for his Christian ministry. He was released with three other American citizens, as part of a prisoner-exchange with Iran. Fellow former Christian prisoner, Farshid Fathi, is in good health and is thankful for ongoing prayer as he rests and recovers following his release on 21 December 2015....
Monday, December 21st, 2015
Christmas is costly. There’s the long list of presents to buy, the card-writing to cram into your packed schedule, the family politics to contend with, and the Christmas lunch to invest your time, sweat (hopefully not) and tears in. Both financially and emotionally it can be a costly - as well as a truly joyful - time of year. Christians in Iran also know there could be a high cost to celebrating Christmas....
Monday, November 09th, 2015
Christian prisoner Maryam Naghash Zargarn (also known as Nasim) is suffering with severe health issues including numbness in various limbs. Last week she was granted a short period of leave from prison to receive treatment in hospital, but her medical leave was not extended, despite the need for ongoing physiotherapy and treatment. Maryam, who has been in Evin prison in Tehran since July 2013, has suffered for...
Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
The church in Iran continues to grow because believers continue to be bold in sharing the gospel, despite the high risk. Sharing Christ among Muslim-background people is seen as a heinous crime in Iran, and could result in long-term imprisonment.  Nevertheless, passionate believers continue to speak: “I have an elderly mother and felt called by God to show love and care to women like her,” shared Laleh. “A...
Thursday, September 17th, 2015
More than 240 Iranians were baptised last week in two large celebrations in the Iran region. A further 16 were baptised in a smaller service, and about 200 more will soon be baptised at a fourth celebration. We praise God for every Iranian who has been baptised recently. Seven friends, who were there to support those being baptised, responded to a call to submit their lives to Christ for the first...
Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Those who have survived persecution often need just as much prayer as those currently enduring persecution.  It is relatively common knowledge that Christians in Iran can be imprisoned for their faith. New arrests and prison sentences hit the prayer headlines quite regularly. But less well known is the potential long-term psychological damage that persecution can cause. Long after an abusive arrest, an...
Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
The meeting room is crowded and hot. The worship is enthusiastic and fervent. The preaching simple: Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, because He was condemned for her. The appeal is direct: ‘Don’t leave this room with your sin; Jesus died for you.’ People come forward for prayer. One man says he is a Muslim, but he loves Jesus. ‘Do you want to become a believer? ‘Yes’. There is more talk. The...
Monday, June 22nd, 2015
An estimated 90 Christians are in a prison in Iran because of their witness to Jesus Christ.  At least twelve have been sentenced, usually for the crime of ‘working against national security’. The sentences range from one year, to eight. The rest are believed to be in pre-trial detention. For over thirty of these prisoners there is very little information. A list of all the available names can be found...
Friday, June 05th, 2015
Many Christians have difficulties obtaining employment in Iran, particularly converts. As a result, many Christians run their own businesses. But it’s a difficult economy in which to stay afloat. Hamid, a Christian, was renting a shop with a friend in a busy bazaar. The rent was crippling and he began to cry out to God for his own shop. It was a prayer for a total miracle because he had no money – not enough...
Friday, May 22nd, 2015
In the story of Iran’s growing church, dreams have a special role. Hussein was a well-known mullah in a small town in Iran. He and his family were very strict Muslims. When the family heard that the mullah’s nephew and his wife, Ali and Fatimeh, had become Christians, they publicly condemned them as being ‘unclean’. It seemed this mullah would never hear the Gospel, let alone repent and be saved. One night...
Tuesday, May 05th, 2015
Afsaneh was married to a highly abusive man, Pouya.  She was miserable and desperate to leave him. But the Gospel changed their lives in a way she could never have imagined. “My husband knew how to manipulate me.  To stop me filing for divorce, he constantly reminded me of the shame that falls on divorced women in Iran, and the burden they become for their parents.  But then things disintegrated...
Friday, April 17th, 2015
A new house church was born just the other day in Iran.  An Elam graduate, the church’s new pastor, tells the story of how it happened: “Last week, an old neighbour of mine – let’s call him Amir – bumped into my brother. They got chatting and ended up discussing Christianity. My brother mentioned that I was a Christian. Amir got very excited and asked to be put in touch with me. “We had an incredible...
Thursday, March 05th, 2015
Mojtaba Hosseini, an Iranian Christian, was reportedly released on parole from Shiraz prison last week after over three years of imprisonment for his Christian activities. Mojtaba was released on 18 March from Adel Abad prison, where he had been imprisoned since February 2012. He was serving a 44 month sentence for ‘disrupting national security’ and ‘propaganda against the regime’, charges which related to his...
Friday, January 30th, 2015
Sixty-year-old Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz has been in Evin prison for over six weeks. On December 26, a Christmas celebration in the pastor’s home was interrupted by Intelligence agents.  Pastor Victor, who suffers with diabetes, was arrested and is believed to remain in Evin prison to this day. It is highly likely that he has been undergoing regular interrogations. About 15 believers were present at Pastor Victor’s...
Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Many Iranian house church Christians are preparing for Christmas with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Many will be wondering whether they will be able to celebrate the Lord’s birth together in peace, or whether they will spend Christmas behind bars; or in an interrogation room. Each year, the Iranian authorities have chosen Christmas particularly to crack down on house churches. Each year, news is heard of...

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