Suffering But Growing Church

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...
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
In October, three more Christian prisoners were moved from Evin prison to the more brutal Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. This follows Farshid Fathi’s unexplained move to Rajai Shahr in August, and Saeed Abedini’s transfer in November 2013.  Let’s pray for these brothers to be protected and given comfort and courage in their new situation. Rasoul Abdollahi, Alireza Seyyedian and Ebrahim Firouzi were transferred, along...
Thursday, October 30th, 2014
This month, a senior advisor to President Rouhani has stated publicly that Iran has a zero-tolerance policy toward evangelism. "We, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, do not allow any individual or group to invite people to other sects or religions,” said Ali Younesi, Rouhani’s advisor on Ethnic and Religious Minorities' Affairs in an interview with the hard-line Iranian news service, Fars.  Iran’s stance on...
Friday, October 03rd, 2014
Iranians live in a closed land. Converting away from Islam is forbidden. But the Gospel is reaching many open hearts. Leila is one young lady whose encounter with the Bible started her on her journey to faith in Christ: “As a teenager I observed all my religious duties. My family was Muslim, so I wanted to be a good Muslim too. Things began to change when I was at university, where I decided to learn more about...
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Christian prisoner Farshid Fathi was moved from Evin prison (Tehran) to Rajai Shahr prison* in nearby Karaj on Tuesday 19 August. The reason for this sudden move is unknown.  He is detained in an open cell with hardened criminals and drug addicts. In this tense atmosphere he asks for prayers for his safety. Farshid’s relocation follows the transfer of other Evin inmates to Rajai Shahr on Saturday 16 August,...
Friday, August 01st, 2014
Fara, a house church Christian, was on a bus travelling between two cities in the north of Iran. Another passenger, Maryam, began to feel unwell, and then suddenly dropped from her seat. She had fainted. There was a commotion. The driver stopped, and in the rush of panicking voices the decision was made to send for a doctor. This was Fara’s moment. She got up from her seat and made her way to where the sick woman...
Friday, August 01st, 2014
Fara, a house church Christian, was on a bus travelling between two cities in the north of Iran. Another passenger, Maryam, began to feel unwell, and then suddenly dropped from her seat. She had fainted. There was a commotion. The driver stopped, and in the rush of panicking voices the decision was made to send for a doctor. This was Fara’s moment. She got up from her seat and made her way to where the sick woman...
Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Our imprisoned brother Farshid Fathi has sent a further letter from Evin prison, reflecting on the Lord’s faithfulness even in difficult times. “In each of our lives, there are nights: nights of loneliness, nights of nightmare, nights of fever and pain, endless nights of prison, nights of missing, nights of hard-breathing and some scary, unexplainable nights in our lives... For those who are living in this world,...
Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
A graduate of Elam’s three-month course recently shared his testimony with an Elam team-member. God is growing his church in miraculous ways, and truly transforming lives. “I lay in a hospital bed bleeding critically,” recalls Masoud, “I had been stabbed five times in a fight I had started. Underage, I needed my parents to come and authorize the surgery I needed. But they did not come.  My life was hanging in the...
Thursday, June 05th, 2014
This year, Christians in Iran have continued to face harsh, brutal and persistent persecution. Many prisoners have faced unbelievably brutal abuse; numerous Christians have been newly arrested; various Christians have been sentenced and are waiting to begin serving time. At least 60 Christians are detained in Iran because of their faith: some are serving court-issued sentences and some are in illegal pre-trial...

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