Iran puts pressure on Christians, but it’s having positive affects

By June 8, 2006

Iran (MNN) — Strong rhetoric from Iran is continues to concern Christians around the world. Irans threats and oppression of Christians in the last 25 years have forced many believers to leave the country, but it’s also done something else.

Sargon Daniali is a Syrian Christian, who lived in Iran. “I had two choices, really. I had to leave, or to stay, I had to become an agent of the government among the churches.”

That oppression hasn’t changed since he left Iran. Iran’s government, headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (mah-MOOD ah-mah-dih nee JHAD) hasn’t been favorable to Christians, says Daniali. “They hate Christianity and they are committed to destroying Christianity — to stop Christianity in the country because Christianity is growing.”

Daniali says the growth of Christianity has come from radio and television, internet evangelism and political protest. “Because they are upset with Islam, they go on purpose and chose other religions, one of them in Christianity.”

While the church is growing in Iran, Christians who left Iran are now being used in evangelism and church planting. Working with the Bridge International, Daniali has opened Afghan refugee schools and church planting in Kazakhstan. He says this year they’re planning something significant. “This year, we are starting an inter denominational Bible school for training ministers and missionaries with other churches.”

Because many of his ancestors were responsible for starting the ancient evangelical church in Central and Eastern Asia, Daniali has plants to take the Gospel back there. He’s currently in the U-S where he’s, “Mapping those cities, those locations where we had those ancient churches, go to the government and ask their permission to start new churches in those areas.”

According to Daniali, they’ve already received permission from China to reestablish the old churches. He’s asking Christians worldwide to pray that even more countries will follow China’s lead an allow them to bring churches back to these areas of the world.

Funding is needed to help Bridge International to support the effort, but they also need much prayer and people to help spread the vision of this incredible work.

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