Thursday, 8 January 2009 Iranian Christians under gov't thumb

Conditions are harsh for Iranian Christians in Iran, where evangelistic activities are against the law and Christian groups are monitored by government spies.

A new penal code under consideration by Iranian lawmakers would mandate capital punishment for those who leave Islam. Recently, the son of a pastor, who was martyred for his faith 18 years ago, was free on bail after being charged with promoting anti-government propaganda.

Abe Ghaffari, president of
Iranian Christians International, says many Muslims are coming to Christ in Iran -- and that has put the Islamic government on edge. "In Islam there is no assurance of salvation. You observe all these rites and rituals and do good works, but at the end of the day you don't know how Allah will judge you," he notes. "Secondly, people have observed that those who are strict Muslims are even more corrupt than your average citizen, and that Islam is not able to transform anyone into a better person."

Ghaffari adds that Christians in Iran lack support because they have to conduct their worship services and meetings under the watchful eye of Islamic government officials.

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