Iran Cracks Down on House Churches in “Islamic” Cities
Iran Says It Deals With House-Churches in Islamic Cities!
ICC Note: Iranian officials are threatening to rid “Islamic” cities—including Qom and Mashhad—of house churches, Mohabat News reports. According to police, at least one church fellowship was shut down in Mashhad and its members are being prosecuted for worshiping ‘illegally’. “Knowing that Christians have church buildings in Iran, this is a plan to corrupt and to bring division between religions!” reported Ati News, an pro-government agency.
4/6/2013 Iran (Mohabat News) – The topics of evangelism and house churches are making headlines in pro-government media these days and through these means they try to establish a platform to deal with them.
In one case, a government supported paper, Khorasan, quoted Bahman Amiri Moghaddam, the Police Chief of Khorasan-Razavi province, as claiming that his “forces have dealt with a group of people who had formed a network of house churches in Mashhad and will prosecute anyone who has been involved in this.”
He did not mention the names of those arrested. However, he added, “Many of these places promote superstitions and corrupt beliefs through their night parties. They entice young people and by their kindness attract them to their faith.”
Even before this, other Iranian media had published similar provocative and false stories. A while ago, Ati News, which is supported by Iranian security organizations, published a report stating that according to local people, some house-churches have been identified in Islamic cities like Qom and Mashhad. The report claims, “these places, are rented by church ministries to convert young people in these locations.” The report continues by saying, “Knowing that Christians have church buildings in Iran, this is a plan to corrupt and to bring division between religions!”
As a response to this claim, it is worth mentioning that with the increased arrest of those who convert from Islam to Christianity, most Christian converts are not allowed in church buildings in Iran. Also, the Iranian intelligence agencies monitor these church buildings closely. Therefore, Christian converts prefer to gather in smaller groups in their homes to pray, worship, study the Bible and learn about Christian theology.