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Iran Government Closes Evangelical Church; Nine Detained

Friday, February 26, 2010 | Tag Cloud

By Worthy News Middle East Service

TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- An evangelical pastor and eight other Christians were behind bars in Iran Friday, February 26, after authorities closed their church as part of a new government crackdown on devoted Christians in the Islamic nation, rights investigators said.

Reverend Wilson Issavi and the other believers were arrested by Iranian state security agents in the city of Isfahan, some 340 kilometers (212 miles) south of the capital Tehran, explained Jeff King, president of advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC).

"Issavi was visiting a friend’s home in [the area of] Shahin Shahr [in] Isfahan when state security raided the house unannounced," King explained. "Reverend Issavi, his hosts and others were apprehended by the security agents and immediately taken to prison. Friends and family are deeply concerned as they are unable to contact Reverend Issavi."

King did not reveal the names and whereabouts of the eight Christians detained with the pastor, citing security concerns. He said the location and physical condition of the nine Christians is unknown.

The ICC official described the arrest of Issavi as a "devastating blow" to Iran's Christian community. "Reverend Issavi is known among friends as a humble and devoted servant of the church.  He is considered a man of prayer who has lived a modest life to better assist those in need."


King said the arrests came after the government closed Issavi’s church, the Evangelical Church of Kermanshah, on January 2. "Before its closure, the Evangelical Church of Kermanshah was among the few remaining open churches in the country."

Middle East Concern (MEC), another rights group investigating the plight of Iranian Christians, said believers have also been detained since last month in Tehran, Shiraz and Rasht. Those held include former Muslims who converted to Christianity, MEC confirmed.

"Iranian Christians are under constant threat of discrimination, imprisonment, torture, and even execution by the Iranian government which severely restricts religious freedom," King added.

He said ICC had urged Christians to pray that the pastor and the other Christians will be released and that the detainees and their families can experience "strength" to continue.


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."

The group said recently that in 1979, there were less than 500 known Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. "Today the most conservative estimate is that there are at least 100,000 believers in the nation."

The perceived hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under international pressure to improve religious rights and abandon his nuclear program. He has denied wrongdoing. (With Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos).

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Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » Iran » Iran Government Closes Evangelical Church; Nine Detained

5 thoughts on “Iran Government Closes Evangelical Church; Nine Detained

  1. Praying!

    "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
    And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
    And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
    And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
    Matthew 24:9-12


    "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
    And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
    Matthew 24:13-14

    Save Now LORD Jesus, Save Now!

    "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."
    Joel 2:32

    Praise Your Holy Name!

  2. MATTHEW CHAPTER 5, VERSE 11 AND 12: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
    Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

  3. MATTHEW, CHAPTER 5 VERSE 4: " Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. "

    Heavenly Father, I lift up these brothers and sisters in Christ, along with their precious families as they undergo the cruel persecution that seems so abundant in the land. I ask you, in Jesus' name, to either calm the storm, or else calm your children. I want to thank you for your unconditional love, and for reminding them that their faith and devotion to you is not in vain. Give them stength when they can no longer go on. Be there to encourage every single one of your children when they are tempted to give up. Remind them of what your son Jesus did on the cross. Remind them that your timing is not our timing, and that vengeance is yours. May lies be exposed, and may souls be won to your kingdom. To God be the glory. In Jesus' name-AMEN!

  4. Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil. Thomas Mann

    Muhammad, founder of Islam and author of Koran, was mentally sick psychopath, could not read and write. While in seizure, he uttered disjointed phrases, which his followers represented as Allah divine afflatus. This is the history of Islam that muslims and “honest and free” western media would not like you to know. These facts show that islam is not a religion, but a cult.
    Read: “History of Middle Ages” Professor Nikolay A. Osokin, Textbook (in Russian), Publishing house: Imperial University Printing Office, Kazan, 1888, 771 pp.; Publisher: ACT, Harvest, Moscow, 2008, 672 pp. (reprint)
    “Great” arab inventions. Obama’s Cairo speech.
    In his Cairo speech, Obama accredited to arabs all fundamental inventions human race made over centuries. None of the Obama mentioned is true, as every person graduated from credible high school knows. However, it does not mean that arabs, great nation with centuries of history, has no inventions critical for human life. They have and here they are:
    1. Ethnic Cleansing - invented centuries ago, implemented over 2000 years ago in Israel when they occupied Israel and disseminated Jews around the world; from 1948 through 1953 arab countries expelled a million Jews and stole their properties; in 1974, Turkish armed forces invaded Cyprus, captured 36 percent of its territory, partitioned the island, implemented a policy of “ethnic cleansing” and sent close to 200,000 Greek Cypriots southward as refugees who lost their property, desecrated churches and cemeteries, and in 1983 declared the northern Turkish Republic of Cyprus; in 1999, Kosovo Liberation Army stormed homes of the last 15 Jews in Kosovo’s capital, who had to clear out, with just the clothes on their backs; recently, Jews in Yemen were under attack and have been relocated to Britain.
    2. Genocide – invented by Turks and implemented in 1915–1917 in Armenia: over 1.5 mln. Armenians, including children, died.
    3. Holocaust – invented by Haj Amin al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, in 1920s in Palestine (occupied territory of the State of Israel); implemented in Palestine in 1920s-30s; in 1941, Haj Amin al Husseini brought the Holocaust idea to Hitler and helped him to implement Holocaust in Europe 1941-45; he organized in Europe two islamofascist brigades that operated under SS control, had their own concentration camp, and killed tens of thousand of Europeans, including Jews.

    Islam is based on three fundamental principles:
    1. Stealing
    2. Killing, and
    3. Lying

    Koran says:
    "Slay them wherever you find them. Fight against them till idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme" (Sura 2:190),
    "Seek out your enemies relentlessly" (Sura 4:103),
    "Make war on them till idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme" (Sura 8:36),
    "When the sacred months are over slay the unbelievers wherever you find them. Arrest them, beseige them and lie in ambush everywhere for them" (Sura 9:5),
    "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you" (Sura 9:121),
    "When you meet the unbelievers on the battlefield strike off their heads" (Sura 47:3),
    "Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate" (Sura 66:7).

    Koran is Islamic Mein Kamf. Islam is fascist cult and must be eliminated from the earth.

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Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » Iran » Iran Government Closes Evangelical Church; Nine Detained