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Iran Closing Down Tehran Evangelical Church

Monday, June 11, 2012 | Tag Cloud

by Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Senior Coorespondent

iran mapTEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- Evangelical Christians in Iran's capital Tehran were without a church building Sunday, June 10, after Iranian security forces closed it down as part of a wider crackdown, Iranian Christians and activists told Worthy News.

The 100-strong Jannat Abad Church, which is part of the evangelical Assemblies of God domination, had been operating in the building for some 15 years, Christians said.

It reportedly provided two services per week, prayer sessions and Bible studies.

Iranian Christians said the order came from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Intelligence branch on Tuesday, June 5.

A spokesperson of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran group told Worthy News that the government action is part of a "drive to close churches".

This "is an assault on free religious practice, in violation of Iran’s international commitments, and a sign of growing religious intolerance within the Iranian government," added spokesperson Hadi Ghaemi.


Only three other Farsi-speaking churches remain in Tehran including the also pressured Assemblies of God Central Church of Tehran, Emmanuel Protestant Church and St. Peter’s Evangelical Church.

Last month authorities arrested one of the elders of Immanuel Church in Tehran, Mehrdad Sajadi, a and his wife, Forough Dashtiani, according to Mohabat News, a Christian news agency.

Iranian Christians said authorities have shut down several other established churches outside Tehran, including another Assemblies of God church in the southern city of Ahvaz, which was forced to close on December 23, 2011, just before Christmas.

Authorities reportedly detained the church’s reverend, Farhad Sabok Rooh, along with his wife and two other church members, before releasing them on bail.

In February this year authorities also detained at least ten members of St. Peter’s Anglican church in Esfahan, including its pastor Hekmat Salimi, according to Iranian Christians.


One detainee, a 78-year-old woman, was quickly released; the others were held for nearly two months before being freed on bail, Worthy News reported earlier.

At least over 20 Christians are known to be behind bars in Iran, because of their Christian faith, according to rights activists.

Five of those are held in Tehran, five in Shiraz, three in Kermanshah and at least two in Isfahan. Five others in Isfahan were confirmed released in early May, including Hekmat Salimi, lay leader of St Luke’s Anglican Church.

Noorallah Qabitizade, in the southwestern city of Ahwaz, and Farshid Fathi, in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, have been detained since December 2010.

Yousef Nadarkhani, of the Church of Iran house church movement, has been in prison since October 2009 and faces the death penalty on charges of "apostasy" or abandoning Islam.


Behnam Irani, also a member of the Church of Iran, has been in prison in Karaj since May 2011 and is in poor health, his family and Christians said.

Iran has denied wrongdoing saying it upholds Islamic values. Christian groups say there may be at least 100,000 evangelical Christians in Iran, despite the reported crackdown.

Iranian church leader Mansour Borji said it will be difficult for Iranian authorities to stamp out Christianity in the Islamic nation.

Speaking to the independent Radio Farda network he quoted the late Assemblies of God Pastor Mehdi Dibaj as saying "Christianity is like a ball, the harder it hits the ground, the higher it goes into the air. Similarly, the more intense the pressures on the church are in these years, the more it grows".

Dibaj could know. He was sentenced to death and executed for concerting from Islam to Christianity in 1994.

At his trial Dibaj reportedly declared: "I am not only satisfied to be in prison for the honor of His Holy Name, but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus my Lord."

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Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » Iran » Iran Closing Down Tehran Evangelical Church

3 thoughts on “Iran Closing Down Tehran Evangelical Church

  1. the Lord Jesus Christ is able to deliver all the Christians in Iran.Lord i pray for the Christians in Iran that they will heed to your name like never before and will not submit to the schemes of the wicked one....

    •  If they want to be "delivered" in this life, they will get the hell out of that hellhole pit of Satan, or they WILL (I GUARANTEE IT MARK MY WORDS) become just one of the next in a list of tens if not hundreds of millions who have been murdered at the hands of Muslims in the last 1000+ years. God makes NO promise to protect you in this life from the wicked, you have to act and flee when your life is in danger period or you will end up being used and abused at the hands of the wicked FOR NO REASON except your own stupidity or inability to get out while you still can. God send a message to even Joseph himself to GET OUT while he still could as Herod wished to kill Jesus, WHAT couldn't the Father protect Jesus while living around Herod??????????


      You have to act in this life or you will become the next victim. If you want to die a martyr, just go buy a plane ticket to Iran or many other Islamic bloodlust areas, or most hard core Maoist or Stalinist marxist areas in Africa or Asia as well.

      •  Praying is NOT ENOUGH, you have to DO SOMETHING.

        3 choices

        1) Give up (bow down, accept Islam, or just keep your mouth shut the rest of your life)
        2) Fight back (you don't have anywhere near the numbers or brutality needed to match a Muslim horde in hand to hand combat)
        3) Get out (the only wise and acceptable choice to remain living and continue furthering Christianity)

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Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » Iran » Iran Closing Down Tehran Evangelical Church