Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Mission Network News: Iran increases pressure on Christians

Iran (MNN) ― Seven Christian converts posted bail and are out of Tehran's Evin prison, reports International Christian Concern.

ICC's Jonathon Racho says the Iranian government is flexing its muscle in the latest crackdown on believers. Why? Thousands are coming to Christ. "TV channels are playing a very important role in reaching out to the Muslims. This has created a situation where many Muslims are converting, and the Iranian government is very much alarmed by this development."

Voice of the Martyrs Canada reported that Iranian authorities had arrested 25 Christians in late July in northern Tehran. Officials confiscated books, CDs, computers, cell phones and passports, and arrested all of the believers present. Eighteen were temporarily released, while the seven others were taken to Evin Prison.

For those seven who were finally released on bail, "It doesn't mean that the charges against them have been dropped. Still, these Christians who are released on bail face prosecution from Iranian officials."

However, Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh's case puzzles Racho. Bail was set, he says, and "their families were able to produce the bail, around $400,000 USD. But, the Iranian officials insisted on keeping them in prison." The two have refused to recant their faith under extreme physical duress.

Please pray "for the safety of Christians who convert from Islam in Iran," pleads Racho. "That is the most important tool that we can use at this point."

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