Christian Solidarity Worldwide – This Week’s Prayer Diary: Focus on Iran

Despite so many positive words coming from the Iranian leadership over the last 18 months, and despite Iran being increasingly embraced by the international community, the situation for Christians and other religious minorities remains extremely alarming. There has been an ongoing spike in executions under the Rouhani presidency, as well as a continuation of Iran’s campaign against Persian Christians.This week, please:

  • Thank God for the positive rhetoric coming from the Iranian leadership, but ask him to turn words into actions;
  • Pray for Pastor Behnam Irani whose health has deteriorated significantly in the last few years while in prison;
  • Thank God that two other imprisoned Iranian church leaders were released in December 2014;
  • Pray for an end to the bringing of capital charges, such as moharebeh, or ‘enmity against God’ which have been increasingly used to target religious minorities;
  • Ask God to comfort the family and friends of all those imprisoned unjustly in Iran because of their faith;
  • Pray for access to justice for those facing trial on religious grounds, that their lawyers would be allowed access to their clients ahead of their hearings;
  • Thank God that he is a God of justice, and pray that the Iranian Church would continue to grow and give him glory even in the midst of persecution.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

4 thoughts on “Christian Solidarity Worldwide – This Week’s Prayer Diary: Focus on Iran”

  1. Iran is the only Muslim country in the middle east where Christians can practice their religion:
    http://theotheriran.com/tag/christians/

    the rise of executions in Iran has nothing to do with Christians. How many Christians were executed in Iran?

    The rise of executions has something to do with the extreme rise of drug trafficking through the afghan border.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_drug_trade :
    However, by 2007, 93% of the opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan.

    So Columbia is nothing against Afghanistan: Remember the US sent US army units to Columbia, killing much more people, than people are executed in Iran. BTW the US also performs a lot of executions.

    Now I am against executions and also imprisonment of political activists, but I think it is not OK that political activists in Iran often just convert to Christianity and use it to protect themselves.

    Traditional Iranian Christians (Armenians, Assyrians) have no problems in Iran.

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    1. My friend, you may be right in much of what you say, even if we may disagree on the interpretation of facts.
      However, true religious freedom involves the right to leave one’s religion and choose another or no religion, including for Muslims. That type of freedom DOES NOT exist in Iran and is punished by death in most Muslim countries.
      At the same time, in so-called Christian countries (I doubt there is such a thing; from a Christian perspective only individuals can be Christians, NOT countries) there is complete freedom for a Christian to become a Muslim or anything else.
      Wouldn’t you think it would be fair to be the same for Muslims in Muslim countries who choose to become Christians or anything else? I wonder how do you, as a Muslim, respond to this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have no problems with anyone converting to any religion, and by the way no one is executed in Iran for converting to another religion. In fact thousands of Iranians have so far converted and were not executed or harmed in anyway.
    Not all these people are BTW true Christians as I wrote, because converting to Christianity makes it easier for them to get a Visa to other countries (most Iranians are very eager to immigrate to the US or Europe), and it also gives you another layer of protection if you want be politically active against the government.
    The biggest problem in Iran is that you (no matter what religion) have no political freedom, hence you get problems with the government if you take actions against the government.

    I am against the Iranian government because of many reasons, also because of imprisoned (political cause) and killed relatives (in the 80s), but I cannot let misleading claims going through. In Iran no one has freedom compared to the west, no matter which religion. Actually Christian Iranians have less rules to follow than the rest of the Iranians, and Iranians have always shown special love to Christian refugees from Armenia (Armenians fleeing the genocide in Turkey) and polish Christian refugees in WW II.
    You can read this all here: http://theotheriran.com/tag/christians/
    All posts are cites, sources are provided.

    Now having “rise of executions” and “campaign against Persian Christians” in the same sentence in your post, was something that was misleading. As a good Christian you should know that if you consciously use misleading formulations, this is considered the same as lying, and hence it is a sin.
    I have very high respect for true Christians, and since I have no reason to NOT believe that you are a true Christian, I guess that you did not distribute misleading phrases consciously, hence I just want to remember you that as a blogger we have to be more responsible than most other people.

    What politicians, journalists, bloggers, … say and write can influence a lot of people, and at the end even cost lives, so these people should behave responsibly.

    Look at how the Jihadists in Syria, how those merciless killers, were romanticized by the media as activists and freedom fighters. Those politicians, and journalists are responsible for the many people who went there from Europe and other Countries and lost their lives or were brainwashed and committed atrocities themselves.

    I do not know about the politicians, but most of those journalists did not mislead consciously, they just wrote about things that they do not have real facts about, and didn’t care because they thought what they are doing is for a good cause. They thought it cannot be wrong because after all it is against the dictator Bashar Assad.

    Now if you care about Christians you know, that Assad’s government was at least secular and Christians were living in peace, where as now they have to face the horror of criminal and fascist gangs like IS(IS).

    So as a blogger, and a religious person you have to act responsibly when you write things.

    I am against the Iranian regime (the current government is actually slowly but constantly trying to improve things), but I cannot bear how media is misleading about Iranian minorities, who are after all the best protected in the region.

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    1. My friend,
      I must confess that I do not intimately know the situation in Irad. The text I have published comes from Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights orhanisation that I trust. I have no reason t believe that they tried to intentionally mislead.
      At the same time, my concern is broader, and as I said, many Muslims who convert to Christianity are persecuted anf killed, either by Muslim governments or by their relatives. That is undeniable and I am glad to hear that you disagree with such barbaric acts.
      At the same time, I hope and pray, with you, that Iran will be again one day a free country politically, so that it can enjoye again the glory of its cultural heritage.

      Liked by 1 person

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