Each Friday I pray and fast for nations where Christians suffer the worst persecution around the world. This week I am praying and fasting for:
Iran. 77.2 million people with 450,000 Christians (o.6%).
Since Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s warning in 2010 of the ever-expanding influence and numbers of house churches, the treatment of Christians has rapidly worsened. The regime tries to destroy those who reach out to converts and seekers by monitoring services, arresting converts, banning Farsi language services and closing some churches. Attacks against Christian communities have increased, and the prohibition of house church activities is enforced more strictly. Yet the regime’s harsh treatment of Christians only further fuels the flames of church growth. (Open Doors, World Watch List)
Iran is a constitutional, theocratic republic that discriminates against its citizens on the basis of religion and belief. Attempts to force political reform in 2011 were quashed by the government, but discontent remains. Young Iranians, who make up a majority of the population, are dissatisfied with both their religion and government. They are very open to the gospel… The evangelical church in Iran is the fastest growing church in the world, according to Operation World. Conservative estimates place the number of Christian Iranian nationals at more than 100,000. Persecution has intensified since 2005. Iran’s state religion is Shiite Islam, and the followers of all other faiths are treated harshly. Protestant pastors are forbidden to preach in Farsi (the official language), restricting them to the Armenian or Assyrian language. Mission organizations are not allowed to enter Iran, and witnessing to Muslims is forbidden. Believers are discriminated against in education, employment and property ownership. Apostates from Islam face the death sentence. Authorities raid house church services, detain worshipers and threaten church members. The publishing, importation or reprinting of Bibles or Christian literature is illegal. But technology is aiding the spread of the gospel. God’s Word is being shared via Internet chat rooms and Christian satellite TV. (Voice of the Martyrs)
Today, I prayed:
Lord, I pray when my brothers and sisters in Iran pass through the waters, that You are with them; that when they walk through the fire, they shall not be burned and the flame shall not consume them. I pray that my brothers and sisters in Iran know that they are precious in Your eyes and are loved and honored by You. (Based on Isaiah 43:2, 4)
Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.