A wave of government harassment in Iran causes believers concern

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A wave of government harassment in Iran causes believers concern

Post  palmtree on Fri 11 Sep 2009, 3:10 pm

Iranian Christians have seen a wave of trouble coming from the government over recent weeks, reports MNN.

Last month, authorities arrested 27 believers of a Muslim background (BMBs) at a home church, seven of whom are still being detained.

Glenn Penner of Voice of the Martyrs Canada says, "There does seem to be a certain pattern of deliberateness to this. Why again? We can only speculate. But we simply observe that this is taking place."

One BMB remains detained in Rasht after arrest in late July. Seven other BMBs from Rasht, arrested at about the same time, have been released.

Voice of the Martyrs Canada also notes that two BMBs, Maryam and Marzieh, remain detained in Evin prison following their arrest on March 5. They appeared in court in early August when they resisted pressure to renounce their faith. No charges have been filed. One new report concerns Mariah Fish's arrest on August 3. She too has had possessions confiscated and is being held in Evin prison.

Another report concerns a number of BMBs being ordered to attend hearings at their local Ministry of Information offices within the western Kordestan province. Officials intensely questioned each one in a detainment that stretched into several hours. This has happened in several towns.

Apparently, hope has drawn eyes to believers. Penner explains, "Young people, in particular, are desperate to know more about Jesus Christ. The churches are growing. Iranian religious leaders we know are very concerned about this and it's sending a message of that concern. At the same time, we're not really receiving any reports that this is having any sort of detrimental effect on the spread of the Gospel."

Is it likely that the harassment will increase? "One never knows where Iran is going to go," says Penner. "It is a country that is unstable. We need to be praying that God will continue to be at work in this country."

A wave of government harassment in Iran causes believers concern
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