8

Iran

Iran

World Watch List Rank 8
World Watch List Score 86/100
Leader Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 
Population 83,587,000 | 800,000 Christians
Main Religion Islam
WWL Rank in 2020 9
Persecution Level Extreme Persecution

The Iranian government sees the conversion of Muslims to Christianity as an attempt by Western countries to undermine the Islamic rule of Iran. Christians from a Muslim background are persecuted the most, primarily by the government, but also by their families and communities. Secret churches are often raided, and their leaders and members have been arrested and given long prison sentences for “crimes against national security.”  
 
Many Iranians are nominal Muslims, and thus some new Christians find acceptance from their families. Converts from stricter Muslim families face greater persecution at home. 
 
Christians from Armenian and Assyrian communities are recognized and protected by the state, but still treated as second-class citizens. They are not allowed to tell others about Jesus or to speak in Persian during their church services.  

What changed this year?

Persecution has remained extreme in Iran, with a small increase in the number of reported incidents of violence. COVID-19 has hit the country hard, and many believers are in desperate need of food and aid. Measures to combat the virus have also made communication between Christians difficult, and they are increasingly exploring online fellowship and discipleship. 
  
Many Iranian prisoners, including some imprisoned for their faith, were released from prison in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 in packed jails. However, other Christians remained in jail and the sentencing of other Christians continued.  

HOW WE HELP

Open Doors supports the church in Iran through partners. Activities include online ministry presence, multimedia productions, and advocacy. Special attention is given to Christian leaders, women, former prisoners, youth and youth leaders, and children

PRAY FOR IRAN

  • Pray for believers in isolation. Many Christians fear sharing their faith with anyone and don’t know any other believers. They depend on online resources to learn more about God.
  • Pray for Christians who are currently in prison for their faith. The conditions in Iran’s prisons are very poor and the pandemic has only made the situation worse. 
  • Pray for those who advocate for the rights of Christians in Iran, that they would be listened to and that God would protect  them. 
Pray for Iran

RECENT STORIES FROM Iran

Iranian church leaders flee just in time

01st Sep 2020

Found in Prayer News

Praise God! Pastor Victor (65) and his wife Shamiram (64), were able to flee from the country shortly before Shamiram's prison sentence was to start.…

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Iran: Pastor Victor and Shamiram’s appeals rejected

17th Aug 2020

Found in Prayer News

Please pray for Pastor Victor (65) and his wife Shamiram (64), a Christian Iranian-Assyrian couple. They have been informed by their lawyer that appeals against their 10- and 5-year sentences, respectively, have been rejected. Shamiram…

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Persecution isn't stopping the church from growing

01st Jul 2020

Found in Podcast

On this episode of World Watch Weekly, we'll discuss the country with the fastest growing church in the world right now - Iran. We'll get…

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Beginning a Prison Sentence

08th Jun 2020

Found in Prayer News

Iranian authorities summoned four Christians on May 28th to begin serving their five-year sentence.   Hossein Kadivar, Khalil Dehghanpour, Kamal Naamanian and Mohammed Vafadar obeyed the summons and are now placed in the notorious…

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Iran: Appeal hearing cancelled again

02nd Jun 2020

Found in Prayer News

An appeal hearing to review the cases of Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, his wife Shamiram Issavi Khabizeh, and three other Christian converts was cancelled yesterday…

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An Update on Ebrahim Firouzi

13th Nov 2019

Found in Prayer News

Please pray for our dear brother Ebrahim Firouzi in Iran, who is about to begin two years in exile. Ebrahim was released from Rajaei Shahr…

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Pray for the appeal hearing for six believers in Iran

27th Aug 2019

Found in Prayer News

Iranian Christians request prayer for an upcoming appeal hearing, scheduled for September 3rd, at which the sentences given to six Iranian Christian believers will be…

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Iranian Christian arrested for reporting an attack

16th Aug 2019

Found in Prayer News

If you go to the police to report a crime, you hope to be taken seriously. You don’t expect to be arrested yourself. Iranian Christian,…

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UN CHRÉTIEN IRANIEN ARRÊTÉ POUR AVOIR SIGNALÉ UNE ATTAQUE

16th Aug 2019

Found in Prayer News

Si vous allez à la police pour signaler un crime, vous espérez être pris au sérieux. Vous ne vous attendez pas à être arrêté vous-même.…

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Iranian church closed down, cross torn down

30th May 2019

Found in Prayer News

Please pray! The church in Iran continues to suffer. Advocacy organization, Article 18 recently reported that an Assyrian church in northwestern Iran has been closed…

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