Iran (MNN) — Iran is taking steps to quell protests as the
anniversary of the disputed presidential election nears.
Multiple sources report they're aggressively deploying paramilitary
members, re-arresting activists, and enforcing certain bans on mingling of the
sexes and un-Islamic women's clothing.
The crackdown speaks to the oppressive nature of the
government. It also means that everyone is under scrutiny,
In the best of times, the open witness of the Gospel is
banned, and government spies monitor Christian groups. Believers face discrimination in education,
employment, and property ownership.
However, with the increased scrutiny, discipling becomes
dangerous work. Church leaders will continue
to cultivate growth in the body of Christ, knowing that those who commit apostasy
(turning away from Islam to another faith) face prison, abuse or the death
penalty. Evangelist Sammy Tippit explains, "These
are people who are from Muslim backgrounds who have come to know Christ. So
the only thing they can get is from an outside source."
Believers are often isolated because they can't worship
together in a traditional church. That's where Tippit's teaching programs are
extremely effective via satellite television. He says, "We need to pray that God will
encourage them, will strengthen them, and give them the stamina in
the face of great challenge."
Tippit recently met with a group of church leaders outside of
Iran in order to encourage them and to let them know they're not forgotten. "God
met with us in an incredible way. Of course, they were hungry, and they were
thirsty–these believers. And these were leaders."
Tippit says, "The only thing that the church can do is
encourage them, pray for them, and try to give them some kind of biblical
foundation that would enable them to claim the promises of God in the midst of
Pray that the government will be open to change and allow
full rights and protection for these believers.