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Iranian Christians arrested in home raids

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iran

The authorities came to our homes. They arrested us and many other believers. I want to ask you to pray for us. We are sure God will never leave us or forsake us... Sorry for giving you bad news, but I believe God will do something for us.Iranian Christian arrested in night-time raids

 

More than 70 Christians have been arrested in a crackdown on Iran’s house church movement by the authorities..

Armed special security officers forced their way into various homes in Tehran and the western city of Mashhad in the early hours of 26 December while the occupiers were asleep. Dozens of Christians, many of whom are converts from Islam, were verbally and physically abused before being detained for interrogation. Among them were house church pastors and leaders, married couples, two of whom were separated from young children, and a number of young single women.

One of those arrested, Davood Kaboli (31), was blindfolded and interrogated about the work of churches in Tehran, before being released. He said, “They have made it impossible for Christians to gather. They want to create fear so we abandon Christianity.”

It is understood that another 16 Christians would have been detained but were not at home when the security forces broke in. Their relatives were harassed and ordered to tell the Christians to turn themselves in to the authorities. 

Some of the detained have since been released, after signing statements that they would no longer participate in Christian activities. The others remain in prison, where, one detainee reports, they are being subjected to sleep deprivation. No charges have been made, though it is clear that the Christians were arrested because of their faith.

The Governor General of Tehran Province, Morteza Tamadon, confirmed on 4 January that a number of Christians had been arrested. He described house church worshippers as “deviants” and “parasites” and warned of further arrests. Governor Tamadon also suggested that the Christians have links to Britain, amid growing fears among the authorities of foreign influence in Iran

The leaders and members of Iran’s house churches, who are often converts from Islam, have been in heightened danger since Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made a speech last October warning against the network of house churches that “threaten Islamic faith and deceive young Muslims”.

Updated 13 January, 2011.

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  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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