Iran more hostile to Christians

By January 23, 2009

Iran (MNN) — Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reserving his judgment of the new United States President Barack Obama. Some believe Obama's administration will be a break from George W. Bush. Regardless, one thing is certain: Iran is concerned about what they call "western influence" in their predominately-Muslim country.

President of International Christian Concern Jeff King says Iranian Christians are arrested, beaten and tortured. And that's not all. "Parliament is looking to push an apostasy law with life sentences and death sentences for Muslims that convert to Christianity. This isn't posturing. This is real stuff. We're helping some of these brothers come out there with their bodies and minds broken."

King believes he knows why Iran is taking this action. "They see the youth slipping away, and they don't know what to do. And so Ahmadinejad has said, 'I'm going to stop Christianity. I'm going to crush it.' And I think he's going to find out what most world leaders find out when they try to do that: they actually spread Christian and actually increase it exponentially."

That's exactly what's being reported from Christian satellite television, radio and internet ministries reaching into Iran. They report unprecedented response from new believers in Iran wanting to know more about their Christian faith.

While King is concerned about the safety of believers in Iran, he says we need to pray for the church. "The church will go through a purification process. And those who aren't fervent, who are double-minded are going to melt away, and what's left is a core of people that are absolutely committed to the Lord."

The result of the commitment is obvious, says King. "They will be in prayer, and they will be spreading the Gospel. Others around them see their lives, and it's contagious. Christianity spreads. It always happens."

Pray for Iranian believers as they face political uncertain and hostility. Pray also that they'll be creative in their witness.

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