Saturday, February 10, 2007

Persecution for Iranian Christians

Dr. Carl Moeller in a column earlier this week for The Christian Post writes about some of the persecution Christians in Iran are facing. Here are a few excerpts.

In November, 2005, Ghorban Dordi Tourani, a 53-year old Muslim convert to Christianity, was arrested by police. A few hours later, his stabbed and bleeding body was thrown in front of his home in Gonbad-e-Kavus, where he lived with his wife and four children.

A year before his death, Tourani wrote this prayer: “Lord Jesus, please let me glorify your holy name in every moment of my life on this earth. I am willing to give my life that belongs to you, for the sake of you and your church.”
Over the past two years, Iran’s harsh Islamic regime has targeted various Christian groups known to use literature and other means to spread their faith among the majority Shiite Muslim population. Under Iran’s strict apostasy laws, any Muslim who leaves Islam to embrace another religion faces the death penalty. Islam is the official religion in Iran, and all laws and regulations must be consistent with the official interpretation of Shariah, which is strict Islamic law.
Another one...
Christians have also lost their jobs, had their shops shut down or had their livelihoods removed. Depriving converts to Christianity of their means of employment is the government’s way of “trying to asphyxiate the church,” one Iranian source told Compass Direct. “A lot of believers lost their jobs after the intervention of the security police.” The officials’ objective, he said, is to force Christians to leave Iran permanently.
Last one...
Last June Iranian church leaders issued a joint statement which says in part: “We cannot express how deeply encouraged and thankful Iranian Christians are that so many are standing with us in prayer. We believe the Lord will hear the cries of His people, so we urge everyone to carry on praying and spreading the word about this prayer effort. Let’s see millions praying for Iran and let us witness together how God can transform a nation.”

D. Moeller concludes the column by encouraging the reader to be in prayer for these followers of Jesus Christ in Iran. Here is a list of things he asks us to pray about:

• Strength in the midst of persecution. Pray for protection, wisdom and boldness.
• Openness for Christians to worship in freedom.
• For Muslim background believers and secret believers. They face tremendous pressure to return to Islam

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the member rejoice with it. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:26; NASB

Set some time aside this week to pray for these brothers and sisters in Iran, and other Muslim countries, who are experiencing such horrific persecution. It is the least we can do for those suffering on the behalf of Jesus.

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