Suffering But Growing Church

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...
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
Most reports of the hostility faced by Christians focus on the opposition of the authorities. And after recent pronouncements by very senior figures regarding the influence of house churches on the young there is no doubt that this opposition is just as intense as ever. The number of arrests are growing, and at least one Christian has been threatened with the death sentence. However opposition can also be internal...
Wednesday, October 06th, 2010
Throughout the summer there has been no let up in Christians being arrested. In July fifteen Christians were arrested in Mashad, thirteen were freed after a week, but 48-year-old Reza and 23-year-old Ehsan Behrooz were detained. According to the FCNN website they have been threatened with being prosecuted for apostasy from Islam if they refuse to renounce their faith in Christ. Also in July officials arrested Mr...
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Zara was a drug addict living half a life in a very religious city. Zara met some Christians and desperate for anything to deal with her drug problem, she asked Christ into her life. The addiction demons went. And Zara could not stop talking. First some family members came to Christ, and then friends heard about her. Now there are at least ten who have come to faith because of her salvation, and they meet together....
Thursday, July 08th, 2010
According to the FCNN website yet another Christian has been languishing in prison for forty days, not for being an activist, but simply for his faith in Christ. On 29th April 2010 security agents arrested 29 year old chemistry graduate, Ali Golchin, at his home in Veramin, south east of Tehran. After confiscating many of his personal belongings they then took him to an unknown location. For over a month Ali’s...
Tuesday, June 08th, 2010
A very sick lady in Iran who had entered a coma had friends of friends who were Christians. And they prayed. Seemingly they were ordinary prayers, but they were effective. She has recovered, and fascinatingly for one who is not a Christian the first words on her lips were – ‘I saw a pastor praying for me. ‘ Those same friends are now praying that she is healed spiritually and comes to faith in Christ. Iranian...
Friday, May 28th, 2010
For fourteen months committed Christians , Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh, have suffered prison, solitary confinement, sickness, intimidation, and the threat of a severe sentence from the courts. Their ordeal is over. Earlier this month they were acquitted, and on Saturday 22nd May they arrived safely in another country. They were met by close Christian friends and are now resting. And they are praying –...

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