Suffering But Growing Church

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...
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Farshid Fathi remains in prison along with at least ten other Christians. The latest Christians to be arrested are Afsar Bahmani and Massoud Rezaie from Shiraz. They were taken into custody on October 12th. These believers endure arbitrary arrest, the confiscation of personal goods, usually weeks in solitary confinement and long hours of interrogation, and then a prison sentence. Their crime? Faith in the creed of...
Thursday, October 11th, 2012
House churches will keep on growing in Iran because of this simple and Biblical principle. An Iranian has a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ – through a dream, a TV programme, a New Testament, a book, a desperate prayer miraculously answered – and their lives completely change. Instead of being depressed, they smile; instead of walking in fear, they trust; instead of cursing, they speak with love. No government...
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
Believers want to meet and are hungry for good Bible teaching. But sometimes there is no preacher physically present. However, if there is an internet connection, there is Skype. It works. The preacher can see most of the people, and they can see him or her. The voice can easily be amplified over the p.a. system. And at the end, the speaker can still ask people to stand or to come forward for prayer. It is even...
Thursday, September 06th, 2012
Click here to view and order the bookmarks Christians persecuted for their faith in Iran testify that in prison they felt the power of prayer supernaturally strengthening them. Elam Ministries wants Farshid Fathi, imprisoned for over 20 months, to feel the power of at least 100,000 believers interceding for him. To help create this avalanche of prayer, the ministry has printed free bookmarks to help churches pray...
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
At the end of a church meeting near the Iran region this summer, the preacher invited unbelievers to surrender their lives to Christ. Three came forward. Then the pastor of the church also stood up and invited other Iranians who had not yet experienced salvation in Christ to step forward. Another two came forward. The sinner’s prayer should have been said. But the pastor still hesitated. Then another leader stood up...
Friday, July 27th, 2012
It’s not easy for Christians in Iran to get baptized, or to celebrate Holy Communion. For one Christian lady, it all proved too much when during one meeting at a conference in the region, there was both a baptism service and Holy Communion: she fainted. There is not just emotion at these conferences. There is also a determination among those there to learn as much as they can, to teach others in Iran. One lady who...
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Six years in prison for being a Christian leader. That’s the sentence for Farshid Fathi, confirmed again after an appeal was turned down earlier this month. And it’s a sentence denounced as wholly cruel and unjust not only by human rights agencies and Christian groups around the world, but also most tellingly by the son of one of Iran’s most senior clerics. Ayatollah Khazali has been a member of Iran’s Guardian...
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
Mr. was a compulsive liar; Mrs. eventually asked him to leave and tried to get a divorce. Mr. became a Christian and pleaded for Mrs. to return. Mrs. at first refused, because it would all be more lies. But eventually she said she would visit him for a day or two to see if anything had really changed. Mr. had said he had given up smoking, Mrs. was doubtful. But when she visited Mr., it was true. He no longer smoked...
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
In a land where the official laws are constantly demeaning women as being worth less than men it is not surprising that many women are turning to Jesus. And when they become believers, they long to sit at His feet and then go out and spread the fame of His name. In recent years hundreds of thousands of Iranians have heard the Gospel from women. They have pioneered countless fellowships. It is important that space...
Friday, May 04th, 2012
The case of Youcef Nadarkhani faces a possible set back with reports of the arrest of his lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkah on April 29th 2012. Mr Ali Dadkah, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested while in court defending a political prisoner*. Meanwhile Youcef Nadarkhani remains in prison, awaiting the verdict of his second trial for apostasy. There are also reports that two Christians in their twenties have been...
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
In the run up to the Persian New Year and Easter one Iranian church in the region gave out over 4,000 New Testaments. Other churches also got involved in Scripture distribution. Despite all the hostility directed against active Christianity by the government, there has been no reports of even one of these New Testaments being refused – again proving the deep love Iranians have for the written Gospel of Jesus Christ...
Thursday, March 08th, 2012
With recent arrests in Shiraz, Isphahan, and Kermanshah, there are now nearly twenty known believers behind bars in Iran for their faith. These include Pastor Hekmat Salimi from the Anglican church in Isphahan, and Masoud Delijani from Kermanshah who has been sentenced to three years imprisonment. There is no sign that the harassment of Christians is lessening. Yet despite this Christians across the country are...
Friday, February 17th, 2012
The authorities have arrested more Christians in Shiraz and Tehran. On February 8th security forces raided a home group in Shiraz, arresting everyone there. At least seven Christians are now in prison. All their homes were thoroughly searched. According to reports the names of those arrested are: Mojtaba Hosseini, Sharifeh, Koroush, Masoud and husband and wife, Homayoun and Fariba with their 17 year old son, Nima....
Friday, January 13th, 2012
Just as in the West, non-Christians like to go to church over Christmas. So in one town in the Iran region this year, nearly 200 people came together and were led in Christian worship by the Elam pastor and his team. Such was the spirit of joy that at the end of the meeting, some of the congregation just started their own traditional dance. During the celebration one man went up to the front. He was seeking God and...
Wednesday, January 04th, 2012
Christian leaders are shocked by the arrest of an entire Assemblies of God congregation, in the city of Ahvaz in the south east of Iran. Children were among those arrested. The Assemblies of God denomination has about 60 million members, and is the sixth largest Christian denomination in the world. On 23rd December 2011 two security police busses arrived outside the meeting place of the Assemblies of God Church in...

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