Iran: Christians under increased persecution, but church is growing
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Christians in Iran have faced even more intense persecution since the Iranian regime began its violent crackdown on nationwide anti-government protests that took off last year – but the Iranian church continues to grow, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Ruled by violent Islamic extremist clerics who take drastic measures to suppress any perceived threat to their authority, Iran ranks eighth on the Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
In a website statement dated January 27, ICC noted that Iran’s estimated one million Christian converts from Islam are particularly vulnerable to state violence: their faith is not recognized under Islamic law, and they have no official protection. “They are considered as direct enemies of the Iranian state, subject to direct violence and arrest of their leaders and house church members, and under the current structure of law, they are treated as apostates and thus have absolutely no freedom of belief,” ICC said.
Nevertheless, ICC reports, despite the perilous conditions in which they live, the Church in Iran is growing. “Despite these persecutions, the number of converts in Iran continues to grow,” ICC reports. “The care and charity demonstrated by Iranian house churches during the increased public and economic challenges encountered during COVID-19 further strengthened the witness of Christians across the nation.”
“Also, the testimonies of Christian converts who have refused to renounce their new faith identity have both challenged and encouraged many more to consider following Christ,” ICC said.
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