Iranian Christians know the reality of what Jesus meant when he said that the world would hate his followers because of His name. Christians - especially converts to Christianity- are daily at risk of discrimination or persecution. Jobs, homes, opportunities for education, even custody of children can be snatched away because of faith in Jesus. The threat of an apostasy conviction hangs over converts from Islam, which, for men, would result in the death penalty if applied.
Christians in ministry, including those ministering in underground house churches and those ministering in registered churches, are regularly arrested and interrogated. Many are later brought to trial, convicted on false political charges, and handed long, unjust prison sentences. Many graduates of Elam's training programs have served, or are serving, time in prison because of their courageous ministry among fellow Iranians. You can learn more about Farshid, who was one such prisoner.
Elam works to keep policy makers, NGOs, the press and prayer-warriors informed on the picture of persecution in Iran. The aim is both to see improvement in the field of religous freedom in Iran and to encourage those who are suffering by standing in solidarity with them.
Elam's advocacy department was established in 2012 and its first project was the coordination of an in-depth inquiry into the persecution of Christians in Iran on behalf of the Christians in Parliament all-party parliamentary group (APPG). Through first-person witness statements and a research trip to the Iran region, the APPG gathered substantial evidence and later published a report of its findings. The report can be read here; it has since also been used to inform policy makers in the UK Foreign Office, the EU, the Council of Europe and in Brazil.
The advocacy department continues to research and gather information, and regularly briefs politicians for debates, informs partner NGOs on the latest news, updates the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, and engages with the press on the subject of persecution and the church in Iran.
For press enquiries or for further information, please contact the UK office.
Elam's advocacy is generating a committed circle of influential men and women who now have a heart to speak up for the persecuted in Iran. The issue of persecution in the Middle East is being debated with increasing regularlity in the British and European parliaments. Strategic global governments are also engaging in quiet diplomacy on behalf of particular individuals. And our persecuted brothers and sisters find strength in knowing that their global family are working on their behalf. Of course there is much still to do, and much for which we still pray.