Iran (MNN) — The crackdown on Iranian Christians continues. Two believers just received prison sentences of 12- and 18-months for “spreading propaganda against the regime.” Miles Windsor of Middle East Concern says there’s more.
“It was written in the verdict that the Christians’ claim that Jesus is Lord and the Bible is their final authority can be perceived as an attack against Islam, which is far more ‘open’ than it usually is,” Windsor shares. “Usually, we see charges…almost deliberately hiding the religious element of this persecution.
“This is quite open in terms of…to hold Christian beliefs in Iran is perceived as unacceptable and an attack against Islam.”
Persecution of Iranian Christians
As we mentioned last week, the Iranian government seems to be increasing pressure on Iranian Christians.
“I’ve found it [to be] one of the busiest countries in the world…for actions against Christians and Christians being sent to prison because of their faith,” says Windsor.
“Over the last year or so, there have been prison sentences which are a lot harsher, a lot longer than they were previously.”
MEC explains here that a lawyer representing Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakhteri is appealing these latest sentences. Fadaei is already serving a 10-year sentence in the notorious Evin Prison alongside Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and two fellow congregants.
“I understand there is a degree to which they’re now able to communicate with each other in the prison, so pray that they would be able to encourage and edify one another,” requests Windsor.
What can we do about it?
Christians in the West can’t do much to advocate for these persecuted believers, Windsor says.
“There’s a risk that any kind of activism on behalf of Christians in Iran would ‘add fuel to the fire’; give Iranian authorities a sense that they’re right in suggesting Iranian Christians are agents of the West, or they’re seeking to undermine the government.”
However, we can talk to the One who moves mountains.
“God is sovereign; He is in control,” Windsor reminds us. “He doesn’t forget His children, and we can ask Him to protect and preserve them in their faith.
“Praise God that He is working in Iran, and pray for our brothers and sisters there.”
MEC believes Christians are called to stand with those who are persecuted. Visit MEC’s website to learn more about their ministry.
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