Suffering But Growing Church

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...
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
After more than nine months in prison, Shahla Rahmati, a devout Christian for nearly thirty years, is now free and at home. She was released on December 20th 2011. Shahla was arrested on March 9th 2011 and after several days of questioning moved to Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison for interrogation. She was kept here for three months; this included six weeks in solitary confinement. She was then moved to an...
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
The dark shadow of arbitrary arrests and imprisonment still hangs over the church in Iran. There are at least 12 Iranian Christians in prison solely for their faith in Jesus Christ. Some like Mojtaba Kashavaz or Shahla Rahmati have been sentenced to three years in goal on the charge of ‘sacrilege’ or supporting evangelicals. Others, like Farshid Fathi-Malayeri, arrested on December 26th December 2010, are still...
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
One reason why the church in Iran is growing is because evangelists take great risks to give out New Testaments; usually the pocket sized one published by Elam Ministries. By last summer one brother had passed on thousands of copies, but one afternoon his activities were spotted and he experienced the reward of being beaten for the name of Christ. He also spent over a month in jail facing abusive interrogation. In...
Saturday, November 05th, 2011
Christians are still being held in prison solely for their faith, and others are being arrested. According to Mohabat News the latest believer to be arrested is Fariborz Arazm. The forty four year old father of two was taken from his home in Robat Karim in the early hours of October 17th, and his home searched. There is no further news. There is also little news of other Christians still known to be in prison, such...
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
From September 25th to 28th 2011 the court in Rasht in the north of Iran asked Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani three times to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ so the judge could annul the charge of apostasy against him. He refused. Now he is back in prison awaiting his sentence which in November 2010 was death by hanging. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’s lawyer has expressed hope that the charge of apostasy will be annulled...
Monday, September 05th, 2011
After nearly a year in prison Armenian Iranian pastor Vahik Abrahamian was released from Hamadan prison on Monday August 29th 2011. According to reports from Christian press agencies his health is fragile after his prison ordeal. He joins his wife Sonia who was also in prison with him from September 2010 till April. When Sonia was taken out of the prison she was told that her husband would join her in ten days. The...
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Vahik Abrahamian; Farshid Fathi; Abrahim Firouzi; Masoud Delijani; and Noorollah Ghabitzadeh are still detained, and the situation of Yousef Naderkhani who was sentenced to death for apostasy is unclear. It has been rumoured that Vahik Abrahamian is suffering from ill health and has been denied basic necessities like a tooth brush, but generally there is silence from the prisons. A silence that further increases the...
Thursday, July 07th, 2011
Arrested in September 2009, Yousef Naderkhani was sentenced to death for being an apostate to Islam on November 13th, 2010. His appeal against his sentence was then rejected on June 27th, 2011. As news of this spread on the internet, Mohabat News then reported that the death sentence had been suspended. But Yousef Naderkhani had also been told to ‘repent’ from his apostasy. There are no reports of what will happen...
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Last week five Iranians came to Christ in a church planted about a year ago. The pastor and his wife are encouraged. But what is even more encouraging is that in the last few months five whole families have joined the church. There was a time when the Iranian church seemed to attract young single people whose faith at best was barely tolerated by their family. This seems to be changing, and it is very healthy. It is...
Friday, June 10th, 2011
At least seven Christians are still in prison with no news about their case. As they suffer, the church continues to grow. Recently about ten or so Iranians were baptised in a town where a year ago there was no church. Now there is a small and thriving fellowship. As with so much church growth in recent years, it began with fairly young believers sensing a call to a place and being ready to be sent. Some might have...
Wednesday, June 01st, 2011
Despite the recent persecution, the Gospel continues to spread throughout Iran and new fellowships are born. One way the Gospel is shared is when Iranians who have become believers outside the country, decide to return home. A faithful Christian man did exactly that recently and began to share the Gospel with his family. They came to faith, and then others from the wider family – aunties and uncles – also believed....

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