Iranian arrested for contacting Christian media

By January 7, 2010

Iran (MNN) — The reported arrest of a Christian in Iran has at least one Christian ministry concerned.

According to Bos News, Hamideh Najafi, a former Muslim, was arrested December 16 by three officers at her home in the city of Mashhad, 850 kilometres (530 miles) east of the capital Tehran.

FCNN quoted Najafi's husband as saying she would be charged with "contacting foreign Christian television networks" under new legislation regarding "political crimes." Her books, compact disks and hand-painted portraits of Jesus Christ were taken as "evidence," Christians said.

Najafi's family has not been allowed to contact the woman since her arrest, which was ordered by the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad, FCNN added. "There has been no telephone contact or visitation granted to the family."

Najafi was prevented from meeting her family Monday, January 4, nearly three weeks after she was detained by police for allegedly contacting foreign Christian broadcasters.

However, President of SAT 7 USA Dr. Rex M. Rogers says, "Those kinds of things happen periodically, and the Christian people must be careful in the pursuance of their faith."

While SAT 7 PARS wasn't the organization the Iranian mother contacted, Rogers says many Christians in Iran do contact their ministry. "We get feedback from text messages, from e-mail, periodically for other kinds of contact, and we know, from some individuals who go in and out of Iran, that the church is growing."

Growth is also happening despite political tensions. Yesterday, Iran arrested more than 180 following last month's anti-government protests. Eight people were killed in those posts. Rogers says, "But in the midst of that, God works. He works in times of adversity. He works in times of persecution, and the church advances."

Rogers seems excited about the number of Iranians interested in Christ. He says since Jesus is mentioned in the Quran, "They are open to the Gospel. They're open to Christian truth, and they don't understand, because they've never been taught, about a God who loves and a God who forgives."

SAT 7 depends on people like you to help them broadcast in Iran through SAT 7 PARS, their Persian-speaking broadcast. Funding for air-time for their ministry is greatly needed, as the ministry airs programming commercial-free. Your gift of support can make an eternal difference in the lives of Christians in the Middle East.

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