Iran’s minister for intelligence has ordered a number of recent Christian converts to explain to the government why they have chosen to follow Jesus. This comes after the minister expressed concern over the increasing number of Muslims who have fled Islam and embraced Christ.
According to the International Shia News Association, in a speech delivered before various high-powered Muslim clerics Saturday, Mahmoud Alavi blamed the spike in conversions on “evangelical propaganda,” and vowed to assign intelligence resources to “counter the advocates of Christianity” in every way possible.
Despite Christianity being outlawed in the Islamic Republic, Iran has one of the fastest-growing house church movements in the world.
Indeed, the hard-line Iranian minister openly admitted to the clerics that a mass religious conversion to Christianity is “happening right before our eyes.”
The mass interviews, he said, were organized to try and figure out why so many are leaving Islam and embracing Christ.
According to Open Doors USA, there are an estimated 800,000 Christians currently residing in Iran, despite the fact that they face arrest and prosecution for simply believing in Christ.
“Any Muslim who leaves Islam faces a charge of apostasy, and can be thrown in jail or worse,” the charity notes on its Iran fact sheet. “The government sees them as an attempt by Western countries to undermine Islam and the Islamic regime of Iran.”
Just before Christmas, Iranian authorities arrested over 100 Christians in order to stem the flow of evangelism that takes place over this holy period.
Another way the Iranian government is cracking down on the Christian community is to close down house churches at a rapid rate.
“Several house churches were raided during the 2019 World Watch List reporting period, including arrests or detainment of entire congregations. Most are no longer functioning as house churches,” Open Doors noted.
Please continue to pray for all these faithful believers, who know what it means to “count the cost” of being a disciple of Christ.