By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - During an official crackdown on Iran's house-church leadership, a Christian convert from Islam serving a sentence in Rajai Shahr Prison has secretly sent a message of encouragement to the Islamic Republic's persecuted Christians.
According to Morning Star News, after Iran had either imprisoned or compelled many of the country's house-church pastors into exile, Ebrahim Firouzi exhorted his fellow Christians to boldly proclaim Christ.
"If you are courageous in God's way, God's grace will be with you," he said. "Do not fear what you are doing and raise the banner of Jesus in the name of God ... Keep your conscience clean so that people will be ashamed if they cause you harm. If it is God's will that you should suffer, it is better to suffer for doing good."
After Iran closed most of the Farsi-language churches, Christians were compelled to worship in private homes, which is illegal under the Islamic Republic. So Firouzi -- who is serving a five-year sentence for so-called "actions against national security, being present at an illegal gathering and collusion with foreign entities" –– asked for prayer on behalf of Iran's native-speaking churches.
"I ask you to pray for the reopening of the churches in Iran that the government has closed by force, so that the sound of worship and the praise can be heard in the buildings again."
Firouzi also asked for prayer to be a strong while imprisoned in Rajai Shahr .
"We are trying to preach the gospel and Jesus is our example; the Savior who came among us to be crucified and save us. We sometimes have to sacrifice our freedom to live in God's love, so I can't only think about myself when there are so many believers and churches suffering persecution ... If my being in prison stirs the international community to work to prevent such future persecution of new believers, then my choice is to remain in prison."