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Iranian president,
Hassan Rouhani
Wikimedia Commons /

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.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information


85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

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

Religion (%)
Islam (99.6), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.2)

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

  • Sentences for Detained Christians
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Photo: Article18

    An Iranian-Armenian Christian leader has been sentenced to ten years in prison for promoting "propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam" through the house church he operated in his home. The 60-year-old believer, Anooshavan Avedian, was a

  • Christian Woman Now Facing Two-Year Sentence
    Silhouette of a woman, prison bars

    In July 2021, Fariba Dalir was arrested along with five other Christian converts, including her husband-to-be, Soroush. While awaiting trial, all six believers were ultimately released on bail – Fariba on November 18th and the others in October. While out on bail, Fariba and Soroush were married.

  • Retrial Request Denied
    Brother Naser
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Last month, it was reported that the prison sentence for Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was to be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Iran (read more). Naser was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly "acting against national se

  • Prison Sentence to be Reviewed by the Supreme Court
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh - Photo: Middle East Concern
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    On June 24th of 2016, 30 intelligence police agents raided an engagement party near Tehran, Iran. Everyone who attended the celebration was detained, including three visiting Christians from Azerbaijan. Most were released from custody, except for the