It’s estimated that there are 800,000 Christians in Iran, a tiny percentage of a population of more than 82 million.
Christianity is seen as a Western influence and a threat, and all ethnic Persians are seen as Muslims. An ethnic Persian who leaves Islam can face the death penalty or imprisonment for ‘crimes against national security’ and it’s illegal to produce Christian literature or hold services in Farsi. Much of the persecution of Christians comes from the Iranian government.
“As a former prisoner, I have often felt alone, and thought nobody cared about me. This training proved me wrong.”Wahid, an ex-prisoner
Christians who convert from Islam have to keep their faith completely hidden. Secret house churches are monitored and frequently raided, and dozens of Christians are imprisoned in appalling conditions. Believers from Armenian and Assyrian churches can practise their faith openly, though they still face discrimination and are forbidden from sharing the gospel with Muslims.
And yet the church is growing - praise God! And your support means that Christians like Wahid can receive trauma support – he was a house church leader who was imprisoned for his faith. Last year, along with 30 other people who had been imprisoned for their faith, Wahid was able to receive trauma care in another country thanks to your prayers and gifts.
Coronavirus has hit Iran hard - possibly 20 times worse than the official figures. The economic situation is dire, with inflation making even fruit unaffordable. Open Doors partners have helped provide believers with food and equip them with the resources to meet together online.
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Iran. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors supports the church in Iran through partners – as well as trauma training, this is done through distributing Bibles and other Christian literature online, advocacy for those in prison and various forms of training.
Lord, we pray for our persecuted family in Iran. Please give opportunities to believers to share the good news of Jesus Christ, despite the obstacles and opposition. We praise You that the number of believers is growing, and we pray that many more Iranians would turn to Christ.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.