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70 Christians arrested in Iran

By January 17, 2011

Iran (MNN) — Iranians are taking action against Muslim-background Christians. More than 70 Christians have been arrested since Christmas as Iranian authorities have raided house churches. According to Voice of America, an Iranian official is accusing Protestant evangelical groups of causing a cultural invasion in the country.

President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller says Iranians are coming to Christ in large numbers as an underground revival is taking place. "The government is deeply concerned that this is a movement that's reaching significant numbers of Iranians. It's more evidence of the fact that this revival is taking place."

Moeller says threats came from high-ranking religious leaders. "The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of the country called on the Islamic state to stamp out the house church movement because it's having such a profound impact on society."

According to Moeller, that was a huge red flag. "We thought this kind of persecution would be coming as the state sought to ratchet up the pressure on the house churches. The arrests of these 70 believers is part of that crackdown."

So, what does this mean for the future? Moeller says, "As it's growing, it's causing more and more opposition and persecution by the extremists who would seek to stamp out Christianity in that country. This is a movement by the Holy Spirit that they cannot defeat."

Moeller is asking people do two things. Pray for "those Christians in Iran right now who are being held by the government and face undeniable torture, at the very least, and possible execution."

Moeller is also asking people to support their work financially. "We know that the church there in Iran is praying. It's praying for certain things that they desperately need. Open Doors is there with them, providing those needs. So if people not only wanted to pray for them, you could actually be the answer to their prayer."

Because of security issues, Open Doors can't disclose the details of what they're doing there. But they do need support. Click here to help.

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