The word of Christ, which extends all over the world, is alive in Iran. Even the repression of the fundamentalist regime has not destroyed the faith of Christians who live in an atmosphere of state-sanctioned repression.
During the past year, over 250 Iranian Christians were subjected to arrest and incarceration. Many of them spent months in prison, suffering deprivations that included sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, lack of medical treatment and unsanitary conditions. Some reported outright physical and psychological torture, to obtain confessions of crimes and information about others who share our faith.
Currently there are many converted Christians in Iran and people convert to Christianity on a daily basis, but there are no exact statistics about the population of this new emerged Christians. Estimates of the Christian population of Iran range from 7,000 to 300,000.
At least one, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, has been sentenced to death for “apostasy”. In the past, a number of Christians have been murdered, forced to leave the country, or suffered in smaller ways such as beatings or the confiscation of property.
All of us should remember to pray for Christians who are suffering persecution in Iran and throughout the Muslim world, and also in the few remaining Communist regimes, such as Cuba and North Korea.
And let us hope and pray that the recent revolutions in many Islamic states in North Africa and the Middle East will not lead to further persecution of Christians. The Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist Islamic faction, currently seems to hold the upper hand in Egypt.