Suffering But Growing Church

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Dozens of Christians in Iran spent Christmas behind bars. Their crime? Their faith in Jesus. One of the prisoners was husband and father Rasoul Abdollahi. Rasoul was arrested in Tehran at the same time as Farshid Fathi and dozens of others, in a mass crackdown by Intelligence agents at Christmas 2010. He was illegally detained for over two months whilst enduring interrogations, before being released on bail. He...
Friday, January 10th, 2014
Anyone would have said that Afshin had it made. He was a celebrated player on Iran’s youth soccer team. He got to travel the world and represent his country on the pitch. But things were not all they seemed. Afshin was broken inside, and he was experimenting with drugs. Soon he became addicted to heroin: he was dropped from the team and his life fell apart. Afshin was sleeping rough on the streets in a European...
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
On the third anniversary of his imprisonment in Iran, we will be praying for Farshid's release and for ongoing strength for him and his family. Will you join with us on December 26th, 2013 as we pray? On Boxing Day, united prayer will rise up for Farshid, and the many other imprisoned Iranian Christians whom he represents. Three years after his imprisonment, we are calling on thousands to pray for Farshid Fathi's...
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
He was a rich, young gold trader in his city’s bazaar. By the age of 20 he had achieved more success than most would see in a lifetime. Ali could afford all of life’s ‘pleasures’. He did whatever he pleased, and soon he was a chain-smoking alcoholic who was addicted to opium and marijuana. High on whatever drug was humming in his head, he was charming and popular. Making deals was easy. Every day there were...
Wednesday, November 06th, 2013
Last week two Christians were flogged in Iran. Their crime? Consuming alcohol. They had been arrested while celebrating the Lord’s Supper. Two others are also awaiting the same punishment. The level of Christian persecution in Iran remains patently dire. We continue to thank God for the courage of our brothers and sisters and pray for their ongoing strength. Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi...
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Christian pastor Farshid Fathi has certainly known suffering, but he prefers not to focus on it. Though he has been behind bars in Tehran’s Evin Prison since December 2010, he knows his trials are not comparable to what many others have endured. He has never complained to friends and family about his ordeal, but has counted it a privilege to be persecuted for Christ. Recently Farshid Fathi heard about a story on...
Monday, September 30th, 2013
The world’s most famous evangelical Christian, 94 year old Dr. Billy Graham, has added his voice to the campaign for the release of Iranian Christian Saeed Abedini from Evin Prison, Tehran. Let us pray that high profile voices like Dr. Graham’s will help secure freedom for Saeed Abedini, Farshid Fathi, and the nearly forty other Christians reported to be behind bars for their faith. Dr. Graham wrote to Iran’s...
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
An Iranian family is exhausted by the social and economic oppression in Iran. They decide to leave and go illegally to Europe. All is going well until their smuggler suddenly abandons them whilst they are en route in Turkey: the family soon falls into the hands of the Turkish police and all seems lost. Held for days in a dismal asylum camp, the family is depressed and feeling hopeless. Then, just as the family...
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
At least 13 Christians have been arrested across Tabriz, Isfahan and Tehran in the past six weeks.  The charges against the individuals remain unknown. A crackdown on Christian converts in Tabriz began last month when three men, Farshid Modares, Aval Samad Kazemi and Hamid Reza, were arrested on July 10th following raids on their homes.  Fellow believer Yashar Farzin No was arrested the following day and Mohammad...
Tuesday, August 06th, 2013
Hassan was a fire safety officer in a huge factory and a Christian. He witnessed to at least eighty people in the factory, including, Masoud, a co-worker who responded and began coming to work wearing a cross. This infuriated his manager. Angrily he told Masoud either he take the cross off, or be demoted. Masoud replied: "I am ready to work where you send me. I prefer being demoted to taking off my cross." Masoud...
Thursday, June 27th, 2013
Rev. Robert Asserian was released on Tuesday 2 July following six weeks’ imprisonment in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. However, whilst the pastor is no longer incarcerated, he will remain under the close surveillance of the authorities, and therefore he cannot be considered to be completely free. Robert Asserian, an associate pastor at the Central Assemblies of God church in Tehran, was arrested on the...
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Rev. Robert Asserian remains imprisoned over three weeks after his arrest in Tehran. The central Assemblies of God church, where Robert served as an associated leader, remains closed with a sign on the door declaring that the church is ‘closed for essential repairs’. On May 21 Rev. Asserian was arrested when he arrived to lead a prayer meeting at the central Assemblies of God church in Iran’s capital city. The...
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Why I wrote out the Gospel of John: inspiring video at elam.com (Click to watch) If you had no Bibles for evangelism, would you write out Scriptures by hand? What if you could be executed for doing so? "Why I wrote out the Gospel of John" is a new, inspiring 6-minute video that tells of a young Iranian girl’s obedience and witness in Iran, even after her father had been martyred. This powerful story reminds us of...
Thursday, May 02nd, 2013
In a Middle Eastern hotel in the balmy heat of early summer, a big, burly man named Akbar gives a moving testimony. Akbar bravely shares about his past lifestyle of promiscuity, violence and addiction, and the consequent rejection he suffered at the hands of his family, and especially his father. A hushed gathering hears how, broken and alone, Akbar called out to Jesus in a moment of utter desperation. Because of...
Tuesday, April 02nd, 2013
Pastor Farshid Fathi has now been detained for more than two years and three months: that’s more than 822 days spent inside Iran’s brutal Evin prison. With no signs that the Iranian government will be lenient and shorten the unjust six-year sentence handed down for simply practicing his Christian faith, Elam is continuing advocacy efforts to secure an early release for Farshid. The Free Farshid Campaign has kicked...
Friday, March 01st, 2013
Iranians compare their own personal freedoms with those in the West and feel frustrated. Most families will have had some brush with the law over something very trivial. For example it is illegal for a woman in Iran to wear nail polish, but women like wearing nail polish, and so many have been stopped in the streets. They go back home feeling bruised. They switch on their internet or satellite TV and every woman who...
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Every night a nomadic family of seven gathers together outside their tent to hear the youngest daughter read the Bible aloud –she is the only literate member of the family. When she is finished the family prays to Jesus together under the stars. This nomad family accepted Christ as their Lord a few years ago when they arrived at a village to put their animals to pasture for a season. It was a village they...
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Arrested on December 27th 2012 for celebrating Christmas with a group of believers in Tehran, 60-year-old Pastor Vruir Avanessian, who suffers from kidney failure, was temporarily released on bail on January 10th, 2013. A date for his court hearing has not been provided. Pastor Avanessian’s family and friends are grateful for the prayers of Christians around the world. At least sixteen other Christians remain in...
Tuesday, January 08th, 2013
It’s becoming a habit: arresting Christians over the Christmas holiday season. It happened in 2010 (over 70 arrests, mainly in Tehran); it happened in 2011 (the whole congregation in Ahvaz, plus children); and it’s just happened for Christmas 2012. As well as re-arresting the now famous Youcef Naderkhani, who has twice faced the death sentence for apostasy on Christmas day itself, the authorities also raided a...
Thursday, December 06th, 2012
An Iranian man from the Baha’i faith struggled with an embarrassing nervous habit for 28 years. When he was with strangers he would bite his nails and shake his feet. Contacted by an outreach team in a country near Iran, he visited the church and met with strangers. As the Baha’i spent time with the Christians, reading the Bible and praying, he realised he was neither biting his nails, nor shaking. For him this was...

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