Suffering But Growing Church

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...
Monday, August 17th, 2009
The intimidation of Christians by arrest and interrogation has intensified in the last two weeks. On July 31st all twenty four Christians at a meeting in the village of Amameh, north of Tehran, were arrested and taken for questioning. A source told Compass Direct, “Many people stormed the villa, and in the same day they took everything.” Seventeen of them were released the same day, but seven of them remain in...
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Imprisoned for over five months, Maryam Rusampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) were brought to an Islamic Court early on Sunday morning (August 9th) and accused of apostasy. They were asked by the deputy prosecutor, Mr Haddad, if they were Christians. They replied, ‘We love Jesus’. Asked again, they said, ‘Yes, we are Christians.’ Mr Haddad then told then they should renounce their faith verbally and in writing...
Monday, July 27th, 2009
Apparently Ali Shahrokhi, a member of Iran’s Legal and Judicial Committee of Paliament, has said the mandatory death sentence for apostates from Islam was going to be withdrawn from the new Islamic Penal code due to be ratified soon. This is of course good news for the church, but three notes of caution should be sounded. Firstly the Guardian Council, made up of strict conservatives, will have the last word and they...
Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
In the midst of the political turmoil and the ongoing intimidation of Christians such as Maryam and Marzieh, still held in Evin prison, the church cointinues to bless non believers. Here is a typical example. Two days ago four year old girl Nafiseh was admitted into hospital in Kermanshahr with severe diabetes. She soon went into a coma. Her aunt was a Christian, and she contacted her son, an active member of a...
Saturday, June 27th, 2009
As Iran remains deeply divided over the election results, two Christian women Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) and Maryam Rustampoor (27) continue to suffer in prison for their stand for Christ. They are in danger of being lost in the system, now overwhelmed by over two thousand detained protesters. In the last few days six hundred other women have entered the section of Evin prison where they are being held. Arrested on...

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