Iran (MNN) — There's a
disconcerting report coming out of Iran.
Evangelist Sammy Tippit says there are reports that "there is some debate taking place
within the government about those who are preaching through the television and
various forms of media, that they would be targets of the government if they
continue to see people come to Christ. [That's] basically what we're doing."
The media is currently
accountable to Islamic Law and heavily censored by the ruling religious
clerics. Conservative Iranians feel the press cannot criticize government
leaders who are also religious leaders, and other religious tenants must be
upheld in social, cultural, and political arenas.
There is very little known about
what is happening, other than the fact that Iran's religious leader recently blocked
the parliament's debate and vote on a bill which aimed "to ease the
current stringent restrictions on the press."
Tippit says the report they
received indicated the new concern is a separate discussion from the apostasy
law. "What you have, basically, is
ministries like ours, broadcasting into the country, trying to feed the sheep,
trying to help those who are believers to grow in their faith in Christ, and
this has become a point of contention."
It's one more step toward the repression
of Christians. On September 9, Iran's
parliament voted in favor of a draft law that would mandate the death penalty for
those convicted of apostasy. That discussion began in February, when the Iranian parliament introduced the
draft penal code that strengthened the penalty for apostasy.
The media issue is still in it's
early stages, and that's why Tippit says NOW is the time to act. "We
just need to pray that the church would be strengthened within the country,
that they would be able to stand faithful to the Lord during these days. And
then secondly, we need to pray that God would intervene in this situation among
those who are in the debate about what will take place and what the future of
the country will be."