Iran (MNN) — The protests in Iran have captured headlines since September. But the increasing persecution of Iranian Christians has gone largely unnoticed.
That’s on purpose, says Nazanin Baghestani. She works with Heart4Iran’s Mohabat TV. “We’ve been hearing from inside the country how the government is just raiding houses. They’re finding believers, and they’re unexpectedly barging into the houses and confiscating everything, their belongings, the furniture.”
After the raids, police warn Christian not to tell anyone and punish them more harshly if the word does get out. They don’t want to look bad in the international media.
The police see Christianity as a threat to the stability of the Islamic Republic. Baghestani says, “They say you’re not worth anything. You should not you should be a beggar because you become a Christian. You don’t deserve to have this stuff.”
“They say, ‘You are trash. You should be on the street.’”
The ultimate goal? Making Christians leave Iran. Baghestani says, “They tell them, ‘Leave the country, or we will imprison you for 10 years.’ They say Christians will be a bad influence on their neighbors. They’re going to ‘Christian’ their family or ‘Christian’ the neighborhood and the community. So they don’t want them there.”
To avoid prison, many Christians have already left the country. Baghestani says, “Some are warned that the authorities have raided their houses. So they leave the country quietly.”
Thank God for the faithfulness of Iranian Christians. Ask God to strengthen them as they face rampant persecution. Baghestani says, “We must be aware of persecution inside Iran, inside families, and even remote villages.”
Header photo courtesy of Heart4Iran on Facebook.