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

Related posts

Youcef Nadarkhani Re-Arrested by Iranian Authorities on Christmas Day

Photo form from November, 2012, as Pastor Nadarkhani thanked all those who prayed and advocated for his release during Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s National Conference in London, where he was a special guest.

Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was taken back to prison on Christmas Day allegedly because of improperly completed paperwork, multiple sources have said, denying him the chance to celebrate the birth of Christ at home with his family.

Persecution watchdog groups Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Present Truth Ministries both reported the news, saying that pastor Nadarkhani has had to go back to Lakan Prison in Rasht to serve the remainder of his time in prison, another 40 days, and to complete paperwork that authorities say he had not filled out.

„We are disappointed to hear Pastor Nadarkhani has been returned to prison in such an irregular manner,” said Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s Chief Executive.

„The timing is insensitive and especially sad for his wife and sons, who must have been looking forward to celebrating Christmas with him for the first time in three years. We hope that Pastor Nadarkhani will be released without delay once this alleged sentence has been fully served. We are also asking for prayers for the pastor’s safety, and for his family at this difficult time.”


Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces imminent execution in Iran

The Christian Post reports that 34 year old Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has been under death sentence for refusing to renounce his Christian faith was under court examination this week after the Iran Supreme Court upheld his death sentence of September 2010. Pastor Nadarkhani has been jailed since 2009.

The Christian Post reports that „On Wednesday, Nadarkhani refused for the fourth time in open court to renounce his Christian faith. That’s one opportunity more than required under Iranian law to execute the pastor for apostasy. In a letter Nadarkhani wrote last June from Iran’s Lakin Prison, he affirmed his determination to stay true to his Christian faith even to his death.”

Pastor Nadarkhani obviously is standing on God’s word- Luke 12:4

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.

He should make us consider carefully how much we trust Christ and how much we reflect this in the way we live our life each and every day.

May the Lord be with him! And may he shake us all out of our selfishness and complacency.

You can read the article here at the Christian Post website.

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