New Iranian Parliament a cause for prayer

By March 17, 2008

Iran (MNN — Conservatives and reformists are vying for
power in Iran's parliament. The results
of Friday's elections raised concerns about the handling of religious
freedoms. 

Just last month, Parliament reviewed a draft law calling for
the death penalty for apostasy.  That
caused concern among Christians, because it amounts to an anti-conversion
law. 

The draft law, which defines an apostate as "any Muslim
who clearly announces that he/she has left Islam and declares blasphemy,"
is clearly aimed to deter conversion from Islam.

Christians make up less than one-half of one percent of the
population. Open witness to Muslims is banned, and government spies monitor
Christian groups.

Believers are also discriminated against in education,
employment, and property ownership.  Some
of that discrimination has escalated into violence that includes assaults and
murder. 

Although missions are
not allowed to enter Iran, a growing number of Muslims have converted to
Christianity. Those who leave Islam often
face serious danger to themselves and their families and may seek refugee
status abroad.

Iran ranks third on the Open Doors' World
Watch list–a compilation of the "Top 50" worst persecuting countries
in the world.

Despite this tremendous oppression in Iran, many are coming
to Christ. Voice of the Martyrs Canada
urges prayer for Iranian believers as they continue to live the Gospel despite
government pressures.

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