By George Whitten, Worthy News International Correspondent
JERUSALEM / TEHRAN (Worthy News)– Iranian State television reported the arrest of nine people on the charge of carrying out evangelism just outside of Hamedan, a well-informed Christian Network reported on Wednesday, September 15.
According to an Iranian State Television report monitored by the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN) these nine Christians were cooperating with Christian-Zionist organizations. The TV report labeled those arrested as “Christian Zionists” and “evangelicals". However, it did not mention their relationship with Israel.
According to the television program, two of the Christians were reported being supported by organizations outside Iran, in particular, the United States and Great Britain.
In a recent ranking of countries in which Christians are most persecuted, Iran ranked second only to North Korea, according to advocacy group Open Doors.
Elam Ministries, an organization supporting churches in Iran, has linked the crackdown on Christians to concern among Iran's leaders about the spread of Christianity in the Islamic nation.
"Because Iran is a strategic gateway nation, the growing church in Iran will impact Muslim nations across the Islamic world."
In 1979, there was less than 500 known Christians from a Muslim background in Iran according to Elam ministries. However, by the most conservative estimates at least 100,000 believers are in the nation today.