Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ayatollahs upset - too many new Christians in Iran

Iranian Ayatollahs Upset: 600 new Christians in one city, many youth in another
Funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri
IRAN -- The Ayatollahs of Iran are upset.  They say that 600 Iranians have become Christians in the city of Nishapur and that many young Iranians are coming to faith in the Shiite holy city of Qom.

Ayatollah Sobhani in a recent meeting of the Islamic Guidance Foundation has warned of the ever-increasing activities of local mystics and "false" Christian groups (i.e., evangelicals and born-again Christians!). He said, “these Christian evangelists have converted 600 people to Christianity in the city of Nishapur," (2005 pop. 270K) located in northeastern Iran near the border with Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

They are also horrified, said Grand Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani, a high ranking Shiite cleric, by the statistics of large numbers of young people becoming Christian in the city of Qom (2005 pop. 1M), 100 miles southwest of Iran’s capital, Tehran. Qom is the largest center of Shi’a scholarship in the world with 50,000 Islamic seminarians from 70+ nations, and 9 major universities for education, medicine, and computer science. Khorasani severely criticized Iran’s government security for neglecting this issue and demanded that this matter be dealt with in the strongest possible manner.

Despite the ongoing suppression of believers by Iranian security forces and measures creating difficulty for the Iranian Christian community, many people (especially youth) still willingly embrace the Christian faith. Young Iranians are curious about Christianity and use the internet to research and discover various beliefs. Despite their Islamic heritage, they are instead choosing true freedom in Christ Jesus.

Pray that young Iranians will continue to come to Christ at a rate that alarms the ayatollahs. 

Pray for the 600 new believers in Nishapur and the large numbers of young Christians in the city of Qom 
  • to stand firm in their faith through trials, imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom, 
  • to preach the Good News to their people with clarity and Biblical accuracy, 
  • to plant many new churches,
  • to see many signs and wonders,
  • to rescue them from security forces, witnessing to them of the person and work of Jesus Christ, and
  •  to frustrate the persecution goals of the Iranian security forces, bringing them through dreams and visions to know the Way of Christ as their own Savior and Lord.