The Iranian regime is threatened by Christianity and is stepping up its persecution of Christians of all faith traditions. The Iranian Constitution allows for the practice of the Christian Faith in Iran, and the roughly 300,000 Christians in Iran technically have the rights to representation in the Iranian Parliament, the right to produce non-halal food, and more. Despite this, Christians in Iran not infrequently suffer expropriation of their property, the forced closure of churches, and other forms of persecution.
Please pray for the Christians of Iran, that they would be protected and strengthened, and that the government’s persecution would come to a definitive end.
“Iranian Cleric Warns Against Spread of Christianity,” International Christian Concern, February 24, 2019:
02/24/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Iranian cleric Hujjat al-Islam Naser Rafiei delivered a speech in Qom (home to the largest Islamic seminary in Iran) which warned against the spread of Christianity throughout the country. He specifically named house churches and evangelical networks as an attraction for Iranian youth whose faith in Islam is diminishing.
This growth in the Iranian church has led the regime to increasingly persecute Christians on the basis that they are seeking to overthrow and occupy Islamic land. The regime, which is heavily influenced by Iran’s clerical class, is feeling pressured because of the widespread discontent of the population. Many Iranians are tired of the strict Islamic moralism imposed upon them by the government. The youth in particular are curious about alternatives, thus opening the door for the spread of the Gospel message.
The Iranian regime does not recognize the religious status of Muslims who convert to Christianity. They are often harassed, detained, imprisoned, and interrogated by the authorities. Christians who can prove their family was Christian before the 1979 Revolution are freer to practice their faith, but still face heavy restrictions. They cannot share their faith and may only worship in designated spaces in a language other than Farsi (Iran’s official language). Any perceived breach of these restrictions can also lead to imprisonment.