Home > Good News, Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Officials in Iran Frantically Refute Claims That Christianity is Spreading Through ‘Exclusively Islamic’ Cities

Officials in Iran Frantically Refute Claims That Christianity is Spreading Through ‘Exclusively Islamic’ Cities

“The Iranian media is desperate to refute claims that Christianity is spreading among Iranian youth and through cities considered to be almost exclusively Islamic. The government-supported Jomhouri-e-Eslami daily newspaper is calling the spread of Christianity an unfounded rumour, but there are definite contradictions in fact to this statement. On October 2, the government-supported news website, Javan-Online, acknowledged that the acceptance of Christianity was becoming a trend and reported 200 house churches were discovered in just a few months in the traditionally Islamic city of Mashhad.

Many high ranking government officials and Islamic religious leaders have also made statements expressing concern over the spread of Christianity. Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, a prominent Islamic theologian and writer, publicly spoke about the conversion of 600 people to Christianity in the city of Neishabour, according to a local newspaper in the Southern Khoarasan Province. The Head of the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran, Heydar Moslehi, also warned the heads of education in Iran about the spread of Christianity in schools.

Moslehi also cryptically announced there will be a new effort to fight the growth of house churches in Iran, and there are serious concerns that this Christmas season could bring intense persecution for Christians. Last Christmas season, authorities from the Ministry of Intelligence raided house churches and the homes of believers in Iran arresting hundreds of Christians (for more information, click here).

Please pray that this Christmas season believers throughout Iran will be protected. Pray that God will grant them safety as they celebrate the arrival of our Saviour. Pray that God will bless and strengthen the faith of new converts to Christianity.

Iran has held its own cultural independence and language since ancient times. In 1979, Iran embraced a theocratic Shiite government. Movements for greater public freedom have often been attacked by those pushing for the strict observance of Islamic law.

In 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president. His promises to improve the lot of the poor and to reinstate the original values of the revolution failed. His unexpected 2009 election victory sparked massive anti-government demonstrations. The government’s response was ruthless, with thousands arrested and some sentenced to death.

Iran has the largest Shi’a Islam population in the world. Christians comprise one-half of 1 percent of the population. The Iranian attitude toward religion can seem contradictory—very chaste in public but much less so in private. The courts have the right to impose the death sentence on male apostates and life imprisonment for female apostates. Effectively, Iran is a religious dictatorship where little of consequence can occur without the approval of the Guardian Council of Mullahs.

Religious persecution of certain minorities has intensified since 2005. This is aimed at the Baha’i, Sufi Muslims and Christians, especially believers from a Muslim background. Almost all Christian activity is illegal, especially when it occurs in Persian languages—from evangelism to Bible training to publishing Scripture and Christian books. Yet the regime’s harsh treatment of Christians only further fuels the flames of church growth.

On May 22, 2010, Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh—Iranian believers imprisoned for their Christian activities in March 2009—were acquitted of all charges. The women fled the same day due to a warning from the Iranian judicial authorities that any future Christian activities would have severe consequences.

In December 2010, Iran began arresting dozens of Christians in a crackdown. The governor of Tehran province, Morteza Tamadon, described Protestants and evangelicals as ‘corrupt and deviant’ and accused them of conducting an ‘enemy cultural invasion.'” Source – Mohabat News.

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