Iranian government pressures Christ followers of a church to self identify and 700 come forward and give their names and addresses saying, „Here we are”.

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I’ve got to admit, reading this story made me shed tears. Having been born in the same communist country that  tortured among others, Richard Wurmbrand, I have read and known many stories of persecution, and praised God  for those courageous and loving men and women who were true examples of what a true follower of Christ looks like when they served God even  in prisons, because they were ‘not ashamed of the Gospel’. Here’s another example of Christ followers who fulfill those words of Paul in Romans 1:16- For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…From MissionNetworkNews – :

Iran is putting more pressure on Christians. In recent days, the government demanded personal details from members of a Tehran church.

„People thought maybe a hundred or so would come forward, and over 700 came forward, gave their names and addresses and said, ‘Here we are. Here’s where we stand,'” an Operation Mobilization worker focused on Iran told us at Urbana 12.

The Islamic republic of Iran ranks #5 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, a compilation of countries most resistant to Christianity. Under Iran’s harsh apostasy law, anyone from a Muslim background who becomes a Christ-follower faces the death penalty.

The OM worker said for „Muslims who follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, there are often huge obstacles and problems…they’ll lose their jobs, their bank accounts are frozen, and in general, life becomes very difficult.”

Take Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, for example.

In 2009, Nadarkhani was arrested for protesting the Islamic indoctrination in his sons’ school system. He served nearly three years in prison, refusing the multiple opportunities to recant his faith. Despite an execution order signed in February 2012, the pastor was acquitted of apostasy and released seven months later.

Nadarkhani was taken into custody again on Christmas Day. Officials claimed that he must finish the remainder of his sentence, approximately 45 days. In September, the courts had stated that Nadarkhani could finish his remaining time in probation.

„There’s not been freedom of religion [in Iran],” the OM worker explained. „There has not been basic recognition of human rights, freedom of conscience, and freedom to practice your faith, especially if you’re a Muslim who decides that you want to believe in Jesus Christ.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that December marks a traditional crack-down on Christians by the Iranian regime. Following Nadarkhani’s arrest on Christmas Day, nearly 50 believers were arrested at a Tehran home two days later. CSW says most were released after surrendering mobile phones, full contact details, and passwords to e-mails and social networking sites.

Despite a myriad of challenges, believers are standing firm. There’s a resiliency among Iranians who want to follow Christ, said the worker, „sort of like the story of the man who sold everything in order to get that treasure buried under the ground.”They value the precious treasure they’ve found; they’re willing to lose everything for…the sake of finding Christ.”

Pray for these precious people of Iran, that God strengthen them through their tribulation and that others in Iran come to know Christ through these precious Christ followers’ demonstration of what christianity is all about.

From Hovsepian Ministries and The Voice of the Martyrs Canada:

IRAN: A letter from prison

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