By Amber Holloway
On Thursday, December 27, while approximately 50 newly converted, Persian Christians had gathered to celebrate Christmas,
government security forces began a coordinated and pre-planned raid. It resulted in the immediate arrest and interrogation of all individuals present for several hours. This incident resulted in the arrest and detention of an Armenian pastor whose whereabouts and condition remain unknown at this time.
By International Christian Concern
Underground believers in Iran
Reports of Iranian authorities arresting Christians for their faith are pouring in, indicating that the Islamic nation is running a massive campaign targeting house churches.
Officials from Iran’s Cyber Police force raided the home of a Christian convert, Alireza Ebrahimi, in the northern city of Gorgan, Mohabat News reported on Nov. 16. The officials had an arrest warrant for Ebrahimi, who was apparently not at home at the time and it remains unclear if he was being held in prison. The Christian man is a blogger who uses social media for evangelism.
They refuse to recant their faith in Jesus
Iranian Christian beaten by police
By Dan Wooding
The mass arrests and disappearance of 40 Christians in Shiraz and Cavar by the state security agents of the Islamic Republic in late September was confirmed in the semiofficial media of Islamic Republic, reports the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN).
In a massive operation conducted by the agents of the Ministry of Islamic Information (Intelligence) in various parts of Shiraz in the last days of September, some 30 Christians were arrested and transported to the ministry’s infamous detention center, locally known as “Number 100,” while others had already been detained, according to FCNN.
Fourteen Iranians converted to Christianity on August 5 in the same church in Berlin. Fifty Iranian Christian converts attended the
Baptism in Germany
ceremony, in addition to fifty other German attendees.
One of the Iranian attendees, Farid Shad, told a reporter of Spiegel Online that although he had become a Christian in Iran, he had never attended a church there because of fear of the security authorities. He said, “We used to gather secretly in private homes to read the Bible or practice our faith. We were gathering there and worshiping.”
By Mark Ellis
As a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard he witnessed appalling human rights abuses that caused him to question his faith in Islam and the current regime. He became a CIA spy and later escaped to the West. His contacts on the ground in Tehran tell him Islam’s days are numbered there.
“Many have lost faith in Islam,” says Reza Khalili, a pseudonym taken by the ex-spy for safety reasons. “In the streets of Tehran, people are cursing at Mohammad,” he reports. “Millions wake up to text messages they send each other every day mocking the regime and the religion.”
By Mark Ellis
Reza Khalili in disguise
As a member of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard he witnessed horrific acts that caused him to question his faith in Islam and the regime he served. After he became a CIA spy and later escaped to the West, he found a new revolutionary to follow who offered a love that overwhelmed his soul.
By Mark Ellis
Padina’s story is told in VOM’s book, “IRAN: Desperate for God"
In her unparalleled zeal for Allah, she mourned for dead imams and prayed day and night at her Islamic school. But a failed marriage and a mother dying of multiple sclerosis left her depressed and suicidal. Where could she find a path to the joy and peace she craved?
At an early age, Padina committed herself to Allah. She thought to herself, “If I could do all the things he demanded, he would answer my prayers, give me peace, and someday allow me to enter his paradise.”
By Jeremy Reynalds
The wide range of Iranian people watching Christian television programs and Christian websites shows increasing interest in Christianity, according to a report by Mohabat News.
Many believe that the frequency of arbitrary detention and harassment of Christians is because the younger generation is increasingly dissatisfied with the Islamic faith.
“The wave of acceptance of Christianity in Iran is increasing on a daily basis,” says Shahram Nikoo, an Iranian Christian and manager of the Iranian Church in Europe. “We know this from Christian television networks which are being broadcast through satellite signals, and also the feedback people give from inside Iran regarding these programs. It’s also obvious from the (viewing numbers) on our websites. All these factors show that many people in Iran are interested in committing their lives to Jesus Christ.”
By Michael Ireland
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani with family
Christian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is currently in prison awaiting a decision from the authorities regarding a death sentence for apostasy, was recently presented with Islamic literature, as part of an official campaign to convert Christian prisoners, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
A renewed campaign of harassment of Iranian Christians is underway in Iran, and several members of the Church of Iran, to which Nadarkhani belongs, have recently been called in for questioning.
By Michael Ireland
Pastor Nadarkhani, who faces execution for his faith
Eleven Iranian Christians who fled Iran in the wake of a government campaign against evangelical Christianity have received death threats via email from a group calling itself “the unknown soldiers of the Hidden Imam.”
The e-mail calls on the believers to either repent or face extra-judicial execution. The “unknown soldiers” are alleged to have links with Iranian security services, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).