Suffering But Growing Church

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
While Vahik Abrahamian from Tehran, imprisoned for 53 days in solitary confinement, and the eighteen year old Daniel Shahri from Isphahan, have recently been released, there are also reports of fresh arrests in Tabriz. Here one Christian was released on bail at an exorbitant price. Another could not  find the money and family members were thinking of selling their kidneys. Despite such intimidation the church...
Monday, April 26th, 2010
On April 11th Daniel Shahri, the nineteen year old son of a blind Christian couple in Isfahan was arrested and detained in the city’s Dastgard prison. He was charged with spreading falsehood and insulting the Islamic Republic. He has now been released. As Daniel is not an apostate from Islam, since both his parents are Christian, there was speculation as to why the security forces chose to harass him. Some suggested...
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
In 2009 they spent 259 days in prison for their Christian faith.  After their conditional release on 18th November 2009 from Iran’s Evin Prison, they have been convalescing and receiving medical treatment for the past five months. Both of them still remain unwell, weak and suffering from various illnesses.  However, despite their frailties they are determined to be faithful to the Lord and speak the truth in court...
Thursday, April 08th, 2010
Maryam and Marzieh need our prayer.    They spent 259 days in prison for their Christian faith.  After their conditional release on 18th November 2009 from Iran’s Evin Prison, they have been convalescing and receiving medical treatment for the past five months.    Both of them still remain unwell, weak and suffering from various illnesses.  However, despite their frailties they are determined to be faithful to the...
Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
On February 28th fifteen uniformed police and five others in plain clothes were sent to the home of Christian married couple Hamid Shafiee and Reyhaneh Aghajary. According to the FCNN news agency, when they arrived only Reyhaneh was at home. The officials swarmed in, hand cuffed her, and then searched the house, confiscating books, computers, and personal belongings. When Hamid arrived an hour later, he too was...
Thursday, February 25th, 2010
According to the FCNN website security agents arrested Rev Wilson Issavi while he was visiting old friends in a suburb of Isfahan on February 2nd. Neither friends nor family know his present whereabouts. Rev. Issavi is the long term serving pastor of the Assyrian Evangelical Church (a member of the Presbyterian denomination) in Kermanshahr, a city in the mid west of the country. He is responsible for an ageing...
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
Even as the intimidation of the house churches continue, so does growth. It is the fruit of prayer. Before planting a new fellowship, believers will often travel quite long distances, just to ‘prayer walk’ a city. They seek for supernatural guidance to be led to the right people. It is true that some new churches have come into being through the impact of satellite TV reaching villages and small towns who have not...
Tuesday, February 02nd, 2010
2010 has started with news of the arrest of up to 85 believers gathering to celebrate Christmas. According to the FCNN website, 15 Christians were taken into custody on Christmas eve in Pakdasht, a township 25 km southwest of central Tehran and about 70 were detained the same evening in Karaj, a large town north of Tehran. After a week the fifteen Pakdasht Christians were moved to Evin prison, and in early January...
Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Fatimeh would bite her family and friends. She threw things around the house. So most people said she was mad. But her Christian neighbour, Setareh, thought it might be demonic. She became convinced when she prayed in the street for Fatimeh: the woman went stiff with anger. When Setareh asked the long-suffering husband if she could come and pray for his wife – but only in Jesus’ name - he agreed. Setareh fasted,...
Friday, January 15th, 2010
Over the Christmas period many will have heard the Christmas message, either through the media, or from friends. This year Christmas fell on a Friday, Iran’s day off, so some of the Christians in house churches will have managed to have had small ‘parties’ in their homes. Sadly other Christians were in prison. One, Hamideh Najafi, was arrested in Mashad at 8.00 a.m. on December 16th. Security officers confiscated...
Friday, December 18th, 2009
RELEASED!  Maryam and Marzieh set free after 259 days in prison Praise the Lord! Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh were released from Evin prison in Iran today, Wednesday November 18, 2009 at 3:30pm, without bail. However, they may yet have to face a court hearing and still need our prayers.  “Words are not enough to express our gratitude to the Lord and to His people who have prayed and worked for our...
Tuesday, November 03rd, 2009
On Friday October 30th Rev. Sourik, overseer of the Assemblies of God Churches in Iran, announced at the Central Church in Tehran that their two weekly Friday services, held since the 1960’s, had been forced to close by government officials. The congregation were stunned, some wept openly. This church has long been the largest for Iranians and these services, held in Persian, have been attracting the large number of...
Friday, October 23rd, 2009
For evangelism, many house church Christians see their journeys as the destination. Bus travel is particularly good as people end up sitting next to someone else, a captive audience, for several hours. Recently a lady from a church shared with another lady about Jesus on a bus and as she started to explain the Gospel, the lady began to cry. The reason for the tears was not just the message, but the fact that the...
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
Last week, Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirzadeh, in prison now for over seven months solely for their faith in Christ, were called into revolutionary court without warning. The judge told them they faced three charges: anti-state activities; propagation of the Christian faith; and apostasy from Islam. Unlike their previous judges who had been indifferent to them, this judge has a more sympathetic attitude. He...
Monday, October 05th, 2009
In recent years there has rightly been a focus on the spread of house churches. However it is important to remember that the established churches meeting in buildings are still active, especially in Tehran, but also in other major cities. Members of the Anglican, Assemblies of God, and Presbyterian Churches still hold services, while the Armenian and Assyrian Orthodox Churches have services in their own languages....
Monday, September 28th, 2009
Despite the intimidation Christians face, the church continues to grow. Iranians come to faith in many ways – a TV programme, the internet, being given a New Testament, seeing a dream – but often the greatest witness is something in the character of Christians they meet. This was certainly the case for a lady who inadvertently let her vehicle reverse into the car of a Christian couple who were moving house. This...
Friday, September 18th, 2009
The seven Christians from the north of the greater Tehran area arrested on July 31st while at worship and detained in Evin prison have been released on bail after signing over two of their properties, according to the FCNN website. All seven still face court proceedings where they have been threatened with being accused of apostasy. Other Christians, including Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Esmeilabad whose health is...
Thursday, September 10th, 2009
As well as Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad (see last week’s entry here) the FCNN website reports that six other Christians from the north of Tehran have also been taken to Evin Prison. Like Maryam and Marzieh, they have faced rigorous interrogation and periods in solitary confinement. The names of the six are: Maryam Razandi, Ashraf Omidi, Mehdi Mohammadi, Nariman Sharifi, Shahin, and Shahnam...
Wednesday, September 02nd, 2009
On September 5th Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) will have had their freedom taken from them for six months: 184 days. When arrested the authorities did not specify the charges, however it soon became clear they were in prison because they were Christians. One prison official refused to let them join her classes because they were ‘najes’, unclean and angrily told them they should be executed for...
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
A Christian woman, who feels called to reach prostitutes, gets into a shared taxi in Tehran and tries to share with a lady who seems very depressed. The Christian prays and listens and understands the woman is pregnant out of wedlock. She tells the lady that she knows what the problem is. The talking and crying begins, God’s forgiveness and grace are received. The depressed lady who became a Christian was a...

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