WORLD WATCH LIST

Iran

#9

Authorities monitor and detain those who profess faith in Jesus.

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“Non-believing family members changed their views… seeing how the church was taking care of the needy.”

– Iranian pastor during COVID-19

Country
Profile

Region
Middle East
Sources of persecution
Islamic Oppression
Population
84,308,000
Christian population
800,000
Religions
Islam
Leader
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Score
85
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What Does Persecution Look Like?

The government sees the growth of the church in Iran as an attempt by Western countries to undermine Islam. House churches made up of converts from Muslim backgrounds are often raided, and church leaders and members can be arrested, prosecuted, and given long prison sentences for “crimes against national security”.

Those who convert from Islam to Christianity are most at risk of persecution, especially by the government, society, and their own families.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

Christians who come from a Muslim background are most vulnerable to being persecuted by the government and their community. For women, there is little legal protection and they risk being sexually harassed by the authorities during interrogation and imprisonment.

Christian women can also be forced into a Muslim marriage, separated from their children, and put under house arrest. Since Iranian women are not free to travel on their own, fleeing a dangerous situation and finding sheltered accommodation is difficult.

Pray for Iran

– Pray that President Raisi will honour the rights and contributions of Iran’s religious minorities.

– Pray that God will help the authorities see Christians aren’t a threat, but a valuable part of society.

– Pray that house churches will continue to powerfully equip believers to serve Jesus.

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