Suffering But Growing Church

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 –...
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,...

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