IRAN - 3 Jailed for Spreading ‘Zionist Christianity’

K. Farmer

Three Christian converts from the northern city of Rasht in Iran have been summoned to begin prison sentences for “spreading Zionist Christianity,” according to a recent report by Article 18, a London-based non-profit organization that describes itself as dedicated to the protection and promotion of religious freedom in Iran and advocating on behalf of its persecuted Christians.

The three converts received between two and five year sentences for “acting against national security” and attending a house-church, according to the report.

The Christians are all members of the non-Trinitarian “Church of Iran.” They were first arrested in February 2020 and released on bail. Over the past year there have been several court cases and, in September 2020, their appeals were rejected.

According to a separate report by Israel Today, “the Islamic authorities in Tehran closely link faith in Jesus as the Messiah with the Jewish hope of national restoration” and therefore has started to crack down on Christian converts.

Iran, however, has the fastest growing Christian communities in the world. According to a report by Operation World, Evangelical Christianity is growing at a rate of nearly 20% a year in the country.  

-www.jpost.com, 10 March 2022

Commentary

Attending a house-church is considered “acting against national security” by Iranian officials, the article notes. This is primarily due to Christian support for “the Jewish hope of national restoration.”

One cautious thing to note is these Christians being part of the “non-Trinitarian Church of Iran.” The website for the UN Refugee Agency states:

Sources indicate that some non-ethnic Iranian Christians do not believe in the Trinity (Senior Researcher 21 Feb. 2014; Denmark and Norway Feb. 2013, 18). According to the President of Iranian Christians International (ICI), there are some groups who present Christianity through an Islamic lens, such as the “Jesus-only group,” who does not believe in the Trinity (26 Feb. 2014). The Danish and Norwegian fact-finding mission similarly states that “many of the house churches in Iran are non-Trinitarian which means that they believe in ‘Jesus only’” making them “quite different from established Protestantism” (Feb. 2013, 15, 18).

-www.refworld.org

While we abhor the persecution of Christians and those of other minority religions in such places as Iran, one positive thing is, “Evangelical Christianity is growing at a rate of nearly 20% a year in the country.” The Church of Jesus is growing mightily in areas where it seems the most bleak, proving that suffering often contributes to stronger faith, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5).

May the Lord strengthen the believers and the Word continue to spread despite these hardships. (By K. Farmer)

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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