Many Muslims in Iran are coming to Christ – praise God. They meet together in “house churches”, worshipping the Lord in Farsi, the national language of Iran. But persecution is forcing them out of the country in huge numbers. According to the UN, more than 14% of Iranian refugees are Christians.
“The average life of a house church in Iran is six months to a year,” said an Iranian Christian convert to Barnabas Fund this week, indicating how quickly pressure and persecution force out the new believers. Many converts are arrested and held for a few days, in some cases months or even years. Sometimes they are released only on condition they sign a document promising never to meet with other Christians again.
Heavy psychological toll set to get worse under new Iranian president
Psychologically exhausted by constant arrests and releases, many converts have left Iran. Indeed it seems probable that it is the Iranian government’s intention to frighten the Christians into leaving the country. Sometimes officials have openly (but unofficially) suggested converts leave.
Iran’s new president, Ibrahim Raisi, who assumed office on Tuesday 3 August, is an extremist, so the situation for Christians is likely to deteriorate even further.
Help for those who have fled
What happens to the Iranian Christians who have fled their homeland?
Farsi-speaking churches are springing up around the world from the UK to Papua New Guinea, bearing witness to the Lord, drawing other Iranians to Him. But, as refugees, their members have practical needs.
And some Iranian Christian refugees are in lonely situations, like the young mother who met with Barnabas Fund a few weeks ago. She broke down and wept as she spoke of her family’s isolation and her sorrow at knowing she could never go back to Iran again, the only country on earth that was home.
Help Barnabas Fund to help Iranian Christian refugees around the world
Barnabas Fund assists Iranian Christian refugees in many ways.
Some projects provide relocation costs and living costs. Some combine Farsi-language Christian teaching and soul-sustaining fellowship; these conferences and gatherings to bring together Iranian believers can be in-person or by Zoom and online methods. Others fund theological training for leaders, or the production of resources such as Christian films and TV programmes in Farsi or other Iranian languages.
Be part of this! Your gift will bring aid, comfort, hope and help to brave believers, uprooted from their own country, uncertain of the future, knowing only that Jesus Christ is their Lord.