Suffering But Growing Church

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....
Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
At least seven men are still being held in prison for their faith in Jesus Christ, but as they sit in prison, the church – because it is the church – is growing. People are coming to faith. And this means, whatever titles are given, someone has to step in as a leader. With the increasing hostility experienced by the church in recent months, leadership is only for the brave. There have been seasons when persecution...
Friday, May 06th, 2011
Last week it was reported that three of the four Christians held in Hamedan prison since September 2010 had been released. There are no details as to whether bail has been paid or not. Those freed were Mr. Arash Kermanjani and his wife Arezou Teimouri, along with Mrs. Sonia Avanesian, the wife of pastor Vahik Abrahamian, who has been kept in prison. Vahik Abrahamian, an ethnic Armenian,became a Christian in...
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
During Holy Week at least ten Christians were still in prison. One, Yusef Naderkhani, has been sentenced to death. The believers who have been released from prison live under the constant threat of re-arrest. Yet in the midst of this suffering, Christians go on witnessing to the risen Christ. Some of the Christians who witness feel they are very weak and have plenty of there own problems. But like the Israeli maid...
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
Most of the Christians arrested in the wave of arrests over the Christmas season are either out of prison, or have been offered release on the condition of very high bail, for just one believer the figure was $250,000. They are out of prison, but they are not free. They are closely watched, their phones tapped. If there is any suspicious of them engaging in any Christian activity, they risk arrest and imprisonment...
Tuesday, April 05th, 2011
Various websites have reported that Adiva Mirza Soleiman Kalimi, a Jewish Iranian, and her husband Varoujan Petrosian, an Armenian Iranian Christian, were executed in Tehran's Evin Prison, probably on Sunday 12th or Monday 13th March. It is reported three others were also executed. There is no confirmation as to whether the victims were active Christians or not. Indeed there is no information available regarding the...
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
‘Edam’, execution. It is a word that seems to be used a lot in Iran’s prisons by cruel guards. A few years ago Morad Mokhtari was arrested and driven blindfolded to a prison several miles from Isphahan. On arrival he and another prisoner were walked, still blindfolded, into the prison building. As they arrived a guard shouted out, ‘What’s happening?’ Another shouted back, ‘Nothing. Two prisoners are coming in. One...
Tuesday, March 01st, 2011
One day there are reports of believers being released after signing away vast amounts of money or even the deeds of their properties: the next day there are reports of further arrests. It’s a cruel loop, and no Christian knows when it will come near them. Yet despite this shadow, the worship continues. Believers continue to sing praise; intercede intensely for those in prison; and share the joy in their heart. It...
Friday, February 18th, 2011
Around Christmas time a new church was born. Shortly afterwards there was a healing. A member of the fellowship was due to go to hospital for treatment for lung cancer. There was intense prayer at the church. When the member went to the hospital, there were preliminary X rays before the operation. When the doctors examined the X rays there was confusion and disbelief. There was no sign of cancer on the pictures. The...
Friday, February 04th, 2011
Since December 26th 2010 alone there have been at least 81 arbitrary arrests of innocent Christians, 26 remain in prison. Those released have had to raise exorbitant bail, which they would lose if they left the country. They also have to deal with severe psychological scars. Many of them were held for 34 days in solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s Section 209 which is used for interrogation.  Ex-prisoners who have...
Monday, January 24th, 2011
Since December 26th at least seventy Christians have faced arbitrary arrest. This means armed guards forcefully taking you to prison, your home being searched, in some cases ransacked and your personal belongings confiscated. 35 are still in prison. Here it is normal for Christians to face solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, harsh threats, demeaning insults, even physical beating – and constant interrogation...
Friday, January 14th, 2011
The Governor of Tehran has confirmed that his security forces have arrested many evangelical Christians in Tehran, and promised to detain more. There have also been arrests in Isphahan and other cities. The Christians were taken in the early hours of December 26th, a number were released after intense questioning, but at least fourteen have been kept in prison. The arrests are arbitrary, and the victims have had no...
Monday, December 20th, 2010
It will be easy for many of the Iranian Christians presently being held in prison to forget that December 25th is Christmas Day. For it will be a day like any other - difficult smells; poor food, cold; and worst of all, not knowing. Not knowing what the charge is against them; not knowing how much longer they will have to endure prison; and at least one house church leader, Yousef Naderkhani, does not know if he...
Monday, December 06th, 2010
Rev. Hossein Soodmand was hanged in Mashad prison on the December 3rd 1990.Twenty years on Iranian Christians are remembering his brave stand for Christ. In a large church in central London, his daughter Rashin spoke at a memorial service on December 4th along with other ministers who served with him. On his release from a month in prison, when it was clear his case was extremely serious, it was suggested to Rev....
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Growth in some countries is when crowds cram into a football stadium to hear a Billy Graham preach, and thousands pour forward at the end to repent. That is impossible in the Iran region. But growth is constantly happening – one by one. Last week a young man was invited to a church. He heard the message and the next day came to the preacher with questions about the Trinity and his own religion. The preacher did not...

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