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Lent Prayer - Iran

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Lent Prayer - Iran

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Lent Prayer - Iran

Project(s): 19-940, 19-886

Country/Region: Iran, Middle East and North Africa

In November 2010 an Iranian pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, was sentenced to death for apostasy. Born to Muslim parents, he became a Christian aged 19 and had been active in ministry among a network of house churches in the north of the country. Converting from Islam is not a crime under Iranian law, but judges can still impose the death penalty on the basis of Islamic law and fatwas. At the time of writing Nadarkhani is awaiting the result of an appeal against his sentence.

20110324-Iran-4X3.jpg
An Iranian Christian convert from Islam is baptised at a conference in Sweden funded by Barnabas

This case is only the most serious in a growing campaign by the Iranian government against Christian converts. Dissatisfaction with Islam, produced by 30 years of life under a totalitarian Islamic regime, is helping to turn many people to Christ, and the government seems to regard the scale of conversion as a serious problem. Converts have to practise their faith mainly in secret, often in house churches. In 2009 and 2010 many were arrested and detained for various periods, apparently to intimidate them into abandoning their new faith or fleeing the country.

Although Christianity has protected status in the Iranian constitution, all Christians (including those in the historic churches) are subject to discrimination in many areas of life, including employment, education and the law. The authorities keep a close watch on events and activities run by the churches, and evangelism among Muslims is strictly forbidden. A number of prominent Christian leaders have been attacked, and several murdered.

The number of Christians in Iran is estimated at less than 1% of the population. Since the 1979 revolution the country has been an Islamic Republic, and Shia Islam is the state religion. Some observers believe that the long-term goal of the present government is to expel the entire Christian population.

Give thanks that so many Muslims in Iran are becoming Christians. Pray for them, and especially for their leaders, as they face severe persecution for their faith. Ask especially for God’s protection for Youcef Nadarkhani and others who are imprisoned for Christ, and that they may soon be released unharmed. Pray for the churches of Iran in their worship and ministry, and for those leaders who courageously share their faith with their Muslim neighbours. Pray that the government will relieve the pressure on them and allow all Iranian Christians to practise their faith in peace.

Barnabas Fund projects in Iran include:

This article is taken from

Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2011” - order your FREE copy here.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

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