The Iranian government is stepping up its persecution of Christians for the Christmas season: “Church leaders in the area say local Christians are increasingly targeted around Christmas but this year is more severe than previous years. They claim different branches of security forces are competing for approval and funding so want to show their effectiveness in arresting Christians.”
This persecution threatens the roughly 300,000 Christians in Iran, most of whom are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, an ancient Church that broke communion with Holy Orthodoxy after the fourth ecumenical council, the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Other Christians in Iran are members of the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, and the Roman Catholic Church; there is also a growing number of Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and other Protestants.
The Iranian authorities appear to be indifferent to the fact that the Iranian constitution guarantees Christians the right to live in Iran, and even have representation in the Iranian Parliament, produce non-halal food, and more. In defiance of this constitution, Christians in Iran not infrequently suffer expropriation of their property, the forced closure of churches, and other forms of persecution.
Please pray that the Christians of Iran would be protected and strengthened, and that all Iranians would find in the Holy Orthodox Church the full expression of the faith that Iran’s Christians are holding fast to amid so much suffering.
“Iranian Christian couple arrested in front of 7 year old daughter,” by Marcus Jones, Premier, December 18, 2018:
Christians in Iran are calling on believers around the world to pray for a family targeted by security forces.
According to religious freedom charity Middle East Concern, Amir Taleipour and wife Mahnaz Harati had their home raided earlier this month and were then arrested in front of their 7 year old daughter.
It’s reported they remain in detention and haven’t been allowed to communicate with family members or legal professionals.
The charges they’re facing have not been revealed.
Church leaders in the area say local Christians are increasingly targeted around Christmas but this year is more severe than previous years.
They claim different branches of security forces are competing for approval and funding so want to show their effectiveness in arresting Christians….