It's true! I have clipped a few details of "Rachel" and "Ali's" experience of persecution in Iran. Their story is not unique, and though these two in particular have successfully escaped from Iran, right now, thousands more Christians like them experience persecution as they did.
In November 2005, just months after being elected Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with the country's 30 governors. "I will stop Christianity in this country," he declared, according to Compass Direct News.
"Persecution is increasing in Iran because of the success of the underground church there," says one VOM director. "There's victory in this story."
In the face of such burgeoning growth in Christianity, the Iranian government has fought back with laws, abuse, and terrorism on its citizenry. Iranian Christians, however, do not buckle under the toil. They cling closer to God as they are persecuted because of His name.
The Iranian Secret Police on more than one occasion stormed their home, beat the couple, and forced them to sign statements that they would not ever attend church. They held Rachel and Ali to the ground and beat them severly with steel cables. Once, Rachel was even raped as she complied with their demands to sign regular statements concerning their Christian faith.
A recent law in Iran has made conversion away from Islam a capital offense for males. This means that the death penalty is the only punishment rendered for any man found guilty of becoming a Christian.
The unimpeded crackdown to "stop Christianity" has placed the church under a magnifying glass. Iranian house church leader Noor says that house meetings have been reduced to three to four people at a time--no large groups.
The article goes into more details of the kinds of beatings, torture, and death that Iranian Christians often face from the government. If you'd like to read the article fully, you may subscribe to Voice of the Martyrs by making a donation online.
While we live very comfortable lives with our many luxuries and liberties, please think about this: that, like Iran, it could disappear with the installment of just the right political leader(s). The Church in Iran needs our prayers. And we need theirs too.
Praise be: VOM estimates about 500 people become believers in Jesus every month!