Christianity is growing in Iran, even though it is illegal, and converts face threats of punishment and execution. Over 1.2 million believers live under the strict Islamic Iranian regime, showing unwavering faith despite difficulties.
The regime is spreading false information and creating negativity towards Christianity to discourage conversions despite more people embracing the religion.
The Surge in Christian Conversion in Iran Despite Persecution
According to the article in Christian Broadcasting Network, Lela Gilbert, who holds the position of Senior Fellow for International Religious Freedom at the Family Research Council, hinted that Iran’s oppressive steps have barely slowed the expansion of Christianity. She further clarified that newly converted Christians are propagating their faith through private conversations, internet-based Bible studies, and recounting their encounters with visions, dreams, and answered prayers.
Gilbert mentioned that converts to the faith are willing to take risks to share their transformative experiences with loved ones. Christianity spread quickly in Iran thanks to the unwavering affirmations of believers who gathered in simple home churches. She added that those involved with the ‘’house church movement in Iran believe that the number of Christian believers could be in the millions.
Women like Marziyeh Amirizadeh, who maintained her religious convictions while imprisoned and tortured in Tehran’s Evin Prison, symbolize this development. As Charisma News reported, Amirizadeh, now based in the US, is sharing Christianity in Iran and advocating for the Iranian people’s liberation.
Amirizadeh highlighted the importance of global collaboration and encouraged Christians to pray for Iranians. She urged people to pray for their ability to spread the gospel, for those with incarcerated family members, and for the courage to overthrow the oppressive political regime.
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Christian Persecution in Iran
The persecution of Iranian Christians who converted from Islam, in particular, is getting worse. Christian congregations are at greater risk in the nation’s urban areas, where police surveillance and arrests are more common. According to the story in Open Doors, rural areas provide unique problems. Even holding Christian meetings is challenging because of the heavy social pressure and control.
The Iranian Christian community has not experienced any relief during the past year. Instead, it has worsened their circumstances as enormous pressure is applied to every element of life. A more dangerous environment for the faithful is evident from the increase in reported acts of violence against Christians, including kidnappings.
Hardliners without tolerance for Christianity, especially conversions, control the country’s political system. They hold power in all important institutions, including the presidency. A worrisome step toward a totalitarian society is the modification and tightening of the penal code in 2021, which is commonly used to punish Christians. State control over daily life is expanding, as is state monitoring. The authority’s decisive responses to the protests after Mahsa Amini’s death reveal their heightened authority.