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Iranian president,
Hassan Rouhani
Wikimedia Commons /
BotMultichillT

Despite Iran's promises to maintain the rights of the country's religious minorities, persecution is still a matter of tremendous concern for various faith groups. However, it seems that the Islamic regime has a particular interest in the systemic persecution of Christians.

A report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom indicates that Iranian authorities continue to raid churches, threatening their members and also imprisoning them. The same report states that more than 500 Christians have been arrested since 2010.

While it's encouraging to know that in these past few weeks some Christian prisoners were granted release prior to their completed term, VOMC's sources indicate that there are others who have been arrested. Among those imprisoned are 18 Christians who were tried and convicted in recent months for evangelizing, facilitating home churches, and speaking out against Iran's Islamic Republic. The combined sentences of their trials totalled almost 24 years in prison.

The Iranian government's persecution of religious minorities stands in direct contrast to President Hassan Rouhani's promise to protect religious freedom which he made while campaigning in 2013. Todd Nettleton, spokesperson for VOM USA, explains that President Rouhani, who perceives Christianity as a direct threat to his government, "is still someone who wants to protect the Islamic Republic of Iran." For more information on persecution in this restricted nation, and to review previous reports, go to VOMC's Iran Country Report.

Please take a moment to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Iran. May they be strengthened by the empowerment of God's Spirit, and may their hearts be encouraged by the hope we have in Christ. Ask that a hedge of protection would surround the country's Christians and members of other religious minorities. Let us also continue to lift up the Iranian government and its authorities, asking God -- in His infinite mercy -- to move their hearts toward repentance, so that many will come to know Him and the glory of His mighty presence.

Current Ministry Fund

By funding television broadcasts, VOMC is making it possible for a vast audience of viewers to be reached throughout Iran with the "Good News" of Jesus' love via satellite. VOMC is also working with partners to provide the Theology of Persecution course in Farsi to train Iranian believers to provide a proper theological perspective and understanding of persecution from a Biblical point of view.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity
Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes

Religion (%)
Islam (99.4), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.3)

Leader
President Ebrahim Raisi (2021)

Government type
Theocratic republic

Legal system
Religious legal system based on secular and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Iran

As the Gospel message goes forth over the airwaves, may the growth of the church continue to multiply despite persecution. Pray that the Iranian government will be open to change, allowing full rights and protection for its non-Muslim citizens as well. In the meantime, may those who are forced to flee the country find safe refuge and help so they can live in peace and worship the Lord with freedom.

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Iran News

  • Prisoner Located and Since Released on Bail
    Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern
    Ayoub Poor-Rezazade
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    In the Persecution & Prayer Alert that VOMC published on September 30th, it was reported that three Christians had been arrested while attending a prayer meeting in Rasht, Iran, on September 5th. The report had mentioned that two of the believers were r

    ...
  • Arrests of Christian Converts During Prayer Meeting
    Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ahmad Sarparast, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern www.meconcern.org
    Morteza, Ahmad and Ayoub
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Three Christian converts were arrested while attending a prayer meeting in the Iranian coastal city of Rasht on September 5th. Intelligence agents raided the meeting and took Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade and Ahmad Sarparast for interro

    ...
  • Proposed Law Leads to Concerns
    Underground house church - Photo: VOM USA
    Pray for creative solutions as Iranian believers spread the Gospel.
    Photo: VOM USA

    Finding encouragement in the Christian faith can be especially difficult in a country like Iran, where tight government controls prevent followers of Christ from meeting together. In recent years, modern technology cr

    ...
  • Presidential Election Brings Concerns
    Ebrahim Raisi
    President Ebrahim Raisi
    Photo: Mehr News Agency (cc)

    The recent election of Ebrahim Raisi as president of Iran has led to concerns for those monitoring religious freedom in the country. The election has been discredited by many since reformers or moderates were banned from running for the position

    ...