Maryam Naghash Zargaran, a 36-year- old Christian woman has served three years of her four-year sentence after she was accused of converting to Christianity, being an active member of a house church, establishing a house church to bring young people to faith in Christ, contacting foreign Christian organisations to carry out evangelism in Iran, and travelling to Turkey to attend Christian conferences. In November, she was forced to return to prison in the middle of her medical treatment despite her deteriorating health.
Christian leaders estimate that hundreds of thousands of Muslims have converted to Christianity secretly house churches, but background converts to Christianity are pers authorities. Last year an Islamic religious expert warned Iranians “to be cautious and not let house churches be planted” Although senior Iranian officials claim that religious minorities have freedom to practise their religion, in reality Iran’sunderground house churches are frequently raided and Christians rounded up as part of an ongoing crackdown. The use of Christian literature is highly restricted and churches which provide services in Farsi (the language of Iran’s Muslim majority are increasingly being shut down. Only recognised Christian minorities are allowed to meet together to worship in church buildings in Iran. The recognised groups are the Armenian and Assyrians, who have been worshipping in Iran for generations.
Lift up in prayer Christians in lran, and in particular the many converts from lslam, and their children, who meet secretly in house churches all over the country. Pray that God will protect them and hide them from cruel authorities. Pray for the many Christians currently in prison for their faith, often subjected to beatings and torture. Pray for strength to endure, and grace towards fellow prisoners and guards. Ask that they may be released and able to ret
This article reprinted from: Praying For The Persecuted Church 2016, Published by Barnabas Fund.
See http://www.barnabasfund.org for more information.
urn to their families.