Friday, January 14, 2011

Iran: Evangelical Christians are 'corrupt and deviant, like the Taliban'

While we were busily preparing the second round of turkey, stuffed to satisfaction with seasonal excess, the homes of more than 70 Christians in Iran were invaded.

In the early hours of 26th December, armed, plain-clothed, ‘special’ security officers forcefully entered the homes of Christians while they slept, and proceeded to abuse them verbally and physically. They were handcuffed and taken for interrogation. Among those arrested were five married couples.

One couple was separated from their two-year old child. Another couple was forced to leave their baby still at the breast. A number of single young women were also among those taken.

Another sixteen Christians would have been arrested, but they were not at home.
The security forces broke into at least five houses, ransacking them, filching personal possessions, changing the locks and then placing a government seal on the front door. Family members of these Christians have been called by the authorities and threatened and harassed. They were instructed to tell the Christians to surrender to the authorities.

None of them have been granted any legal representation. No charges have been made, though it is clear that their ‘crime’ is simply that they are Christian. There has been no due process, no regard for rights, and no natural justice. The government authorities have provided neither reason for the arrests nor any record of the items confiscated. Family members are not allowed to visit the detained.

It is almost certain they are in interrogation Block 209 in the basement of Evin Prison, Tehran. This is where Christians are initially taken, according to other believers who have endured imprisonment.

While being interrogated, the arrested are blindfolded and questioned by different officers for hours on end. After the questioning, the prisoners are returned to their cells until called again to the interrogation room.

Whenever they leave their cells, they do so without sight. Intense psychological pressure is applied in order to induce a renunciation of Christ. There are many reports that prisoners held in this block have been tortured. During the time of interrogation, which can go on for over a month, there is no contact with the outside world.

The Governor-General of Tehran, Morteza Tamadon, made spurious allegations against Christians when he announced these arrests on 4th January. He accused Christians of being ‘corrupt’, ‘deviant’ and ‘like the Taliban’. There was also intense concern when he vowed to hunt down more. Senior Iranian church leader, Rev. Sam Yeghnazar, said, “Mr. Tamadon’s comments show without doubt that the arrest of these Christians is due to their faith. The global church is outraged both by the arrests, which are a clear violation of international human rights, and the insulting way Mr Tamadon talked about Christians.”

Rev. Yeghnazar said, “These Christians who have been arrested are hard working people of integrity. They love Iran. They have no political agenda, but are simply followers of Christ. Like all other Christians, they believe the Bible and the teachings of the historic church. They are innocent and should be released.”

Since President Ahmadinejad took office in 2005 there have been over 100 publicised cases of Christians being subject to arbitrary arrest, detention, and interrogation. There have been hundreds of others, but for security reasons not all church leaders speak out.

Why is the Iranian Government so concerned about these Christians? Surely in the great Islamic Republic a small, subdued religious minority is of little concern to the might of Islam? Even moreso as it is illegal to possess or distribute bibles, and illegal to tell others the Good News, and illegal to convert from Islam to Christianity. The truth is that in spite of the total lack of religious freedom and the constant threat of government-sanctioned violence, there has been and continues to be a massive turning to Christ in Iran, and the authorities are deeply concerned by the apostasy. At the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there were 500 known Christians in Iran; now some estimates suggest that there are as many as a million.

By ordering these arrests the Iranian government, a signatory to the United
Nations Charter of Human Rights, is in clear breach of at least three of its articles. The aim of the arrests is to forcibly convert to Islam. Article 18 states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

The arrests on 26th December were arbitrary. Article 9 states:
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Christians have been subjected to solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, and physical beatings. Article 5 states:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Dr. George Wood, Chairman of the Pentecostal World Fellowship, has called on his 63 million members to pray for those arrested. He said, “For the past year or two we have seen efforts by the Iranian government specifically to stamp out these Christians.” He also expressed his concern that other major attacks against Christians are occurring in places like Iraq, Pakistan, and Egypt.

Church leaders around the world are calling on Iran to act according to its commitment to the United Nations Charter, release all Christians arrested solely for practising their faith, and to recognise Christianity as a legitimate and legal faith.

The British Government must also speak out against these arrests.

Iranian church leaders are calling for an international day of prayer and fasting for Christian prisoners in Iran this Sunday, 16th January 2011. Please join them in praying for the suffering church in Iran.

36 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before this century is out the remaining Christians in this country will be submitted to the same abuse.

‘British’ governments are not going to speak out. They are EU quislings just doing the bidding of their of Marxist masters. They want Christianity eradicated across the continent. They are doing all in their power to marginalise Christianity using the EU’s ‘equality’ laws. The EU diary for school children with every other religious holiday expect Christian was not a mistake. It was quite deliberate. So too is the encouragement for millions of Moslem immigrants. And, as if that is not enough, Cameron is actively campaigning for Turkey to be allowed to join the EU.

14 January 2011 at 09:35  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The Bahai minority in Iran have been persecuted for years.

14 January 2011 at 09:39  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your communicant suspects that Your Grace has previously commented on Islam in Iran, a statement which may appear to be off topic in the context of Your Grace's post. However, two years ago the Beeb's Iranian service reported that mosque attendance in Iran ran at about two per cent of the population. If this is so, it is enormously exciting, raising the possibility that Iran may become the first post-Islamic society.

Indeed, the recent Iranian elections suggested that the Iranian people are aching for democratic freedoms. A corollary to this implied rejection of the will of allah is a potential acceptance of the message of Jesus Christ. Note that the alleged Evangelicals were Iranian citizens, not proselytising Westerners. Of course the Iranians are mainly very gifted Persians and their culture, whilst influenced by the Arabism of Islam, is very different. One sometimes wonders if we are backing the wrong horse when demonising Iran as we do. Obviously a change of Iranian government is a prerequisite to a change of tack with regard to Iran generally.

Here's a link: http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?/topic/234968731-the-lowest-moque-attendance-of-any-islamic-country/

Truly, it may sometimes be darkest before the dawn.

14 January 2011 at 10:19  
Anonymous PJ said...

Why was this not reported on the BBC, the main media outlet of a "Christian country".
It makes you think

14 January 2011 at 11:52  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

I read recently that the Abp of York is giving bird boxes to congregations in his diocese, so that they can make their churchyards into wildlife sanctuaries. Meanwhile, there is this terrible persecution of Christians, that is reported here (thanks, Cranmer). If no one thinks the C of E has its priorities disastrously wrong, they should wake up, and the Abps should be chaining themselves to the Palace of Westminster railings ...
Anonymous - well said.
PJ - does any Christian trust the BBC News these days? (You mean "formerly Christian country", I think).

14 January 2011 at 12:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it weren't so vile, I'd joke that the Irainians have got it right.

14 January 2011 at 12:27  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Israel is probably to blame!!!

Thank you for bringing the plight of the suffering church before us and putting our own, often trivial, concerns into perspective.

May I commend The Barnabus Fund to your flock.

14 January 2011 at 12:38  
Anonymous Dick the Prick said...

Your Grace

Is there an election coming up? The sooner Iran gets rid of its fake government, the better for all. How very upsetting.

14 January 2011 at 12:47  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

Perhaps it is now time for the International Christian Churches to establish an army which can be sent to countries where Christians are being persecuted? To rescue those involved and ideally to punish the perpetrators. Wishful thinking I know, but sometimes I have the feeling that Christians are becoming as persecuted as are the Jews. And there is no one to defend and protect them.

14 January 2011 at 13:05  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Unbelievers are those that say: ‘Allah is one of three.’ There is but one God. If they do not desist from so saying, those of them that disbelieve shall be sternly punished.—Qur’an 5:73

By persecuting Christians, the Iranian authorities are doing no more than their religion expects of them. I hope those Christians who have been inclined to think the best of Islam, sharing the Archbishop of Canterbury’s view that it is a fine religion, will think again. Islam is the enemy of Christianity and of freedom, and it is thriving here in Britain.

14 January 2011 at 14:15  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

The apostle Paul wrote (in Romans 8:35-39)--
'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'

And in 2 Cor 12:9-10 --
'Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.'

And in 2 Thess 1:4-5 --
'...we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer...'

And in 2 Tim 3:12 --
'...all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.'

Of course, we should pray and work for the relief of persecuted Christians, but we should not imagine that their situation is abnormal.

Mr Anonymous avers: 'Before this century is out the remaining Christians in this country will be submitted to the same abuse.'

He may be right; but the enjoyment here of persecution-free peace has been merely an interruption in the normal state of things.

14 January 2011 at 14:41  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

What's become of Mr D Singh?

14 January 2011 at 14:42  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Your Grace.
May God Bless you for revealing what the media for reasons of their own,do not.
I echo the comments of Anabaptist that The Lord warns that His Truth comes at the price of persecution, because of the evil that is in man. He hates the truth because his deeds are evil.
Some find it strange that the Church grows under pressure, more than at any other time. Perhaps it's because although we do not welcome it, a line is drawn between those that have the truth & are willing to stand up & defend it & those who have a form of religion that is a lie, but who use it to further their own interests.
The decision is straight forward. If you have received the Son, you have life, if you reject Him, the wrath of God awaits at the final judgement. No excuses or alibis.
Those that commit these atrocities need to repent now & receive Christ before it's too late.

Meanwhile we in the West need to take stock of the situation that we are in, remember the wise & foolish Virgins?. Some of our meetings it must be said owe more to the flesh than the Holy Spirit. We need to return to our first love & stop being luke warm. I fear that many have lost the Way & attempt to attract followers with either tradition or entertainment.
Once again, Bless you for your boldness. I will be praying & fasting for my bretheren this Sunday & hope that many more will pledge to do the same.

14 January 2011 at 16:07  
Blogger starcourse said...

Thank you your Grace for drawing our attention to this outrage. My prayers are with our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.

One wonders how long Islam would last if it did not use threats and force to prevent people leaving it?

14 January 2011 at 16:35  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

@ PJ

Here is why the BBC tends to look the other way:

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/audio-bbc-mars-400th-anniversary-of-kjv-bible-with-gay-slur/

14 January 2011 at 17:13  
Anonymous len said...

As I have probably said before Islam is the complete opposite to Christianity.Islam is an inversion of Christianity.
Christianity in its original form is a relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.God redeems Christians by renewing the Spirit. Islam has no means to change man spiritually so Islam uses fear, control and intimidation as a means of repressing the fallen nature.
Islam offers no hope of redemption,no certainty of ever reaching Paradise,only fear of ones works not 'being enough'.
The spirit of Islam is totally opposed to the Spirit of God and thereby Christians too!!!.

14 January 2011 at 17:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you shed some light on this. There was another awful case concerning a Christian woman in Pakistan who was falsely arrested and beaten. Her children and husnad are desperate for her return. She has been sentenced to hang. There was a worldwide petition asking for people to sign in support of her release. These cases are tragic. We need to do all we can to try and help like prayers, petition signing, calls to our elected officials and embassies and acting on any other ideas that are put forth. Google Asia Bibi to learn more.

14 January 2011 at 17:57  
Blogger goethechosemercy said...

Quote:
One couple was separated from their two-year old child. Another couple was forced to leave their baby still at the breast. A number of single young women were also among those taken.
end quote.

These acts speak for themselves-- this is Jihad.
The taking of captives.
The forcing of conversion soon to follow.
The taking of children either for enslavement, forced conversion or BOTH!
History has Islam's number, and if you look at these events without associating them with the Muslim history of conquest, you have not been paying attention.
No wonder the BBC is silent as the grave.
It is complicit in Jihad.

14 January 2011 at 18:18  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Lord Palmerston's ideas weren't all bad ...

14 January 2011 at 18:36  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Being in the UN is the reason we are in a mess, sod their charters.

They will be sticking our babies full of these innoculations soon and no christian voices are warning of this evil.

Well done for bringing this to light YG but when is the global church going to clash with the global satanic UN.

14 January 2011 at 19:20  
Anonymous bluedog said...

The sensitivity of the Iranian authorities to the growth of Christianity in their Islamic Republic may be related to this blog: http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?/topic/234968731-the-lowest-moque-attendance-of-any-islamic-country/

It seems that state sponsored Islam is a turn-off for the Persians.

14 January 2011 at 21:01  
Blogger srizals said...

Gladly, if it's true. Now can everyone stop threatening to nuke the Iranians and let them go on with their lives, without smouldering embargo?

I'm hoping to buy some depleted uranium for my tank buster missile head. Can't have too many jet-tanks around us nowadays. History may repeat itself, of imperialism and the conquered ones.

15 January 2011 at 00:44  
Blogger English Viking said...

Your Grace,

'None of them have been granted any legal representation. No charges have been made, though it is clear that their ‘crime’ is simply that they are Christian. There has been no due process, no regard for rights, and no natural justice. The government authorities have provided neither reason for the arrests nor any record of the items confiscated. Family members are not allowed to visit the detained.'

Why do you appear surprised at the barbarity of moon-worshippers?

15 January 2011 at 02:15  
Blogger srizals said...

Yes, I agree with English Viking, they were moon-worshippers! Gladly they were not Muslims.

15 January 2011 at 02:20  
Blogger English Viking said...

Srizals,

Are you Sunni or Shia?

Your answer will make a world of difference to your previous comment.

You're Sunni, aren't you?

(Don't you just hate educated kaffirs?)

15 January 2011 at 02:37  
Anonymous Oswin said...

No, Srizals quite likes me. :o}

15 January 2011 at 02:44  
Anonymous len said...

Islam is repackaged polytheism.
Mohammed chose one god from the many gods.Allah is the moon god of the Kabah.

15 January 2011 at 13:45  
Blogger srizals said...

Dear len, it's becoming quite tiring for me to keep on answering about the moon god based on claim by non-Muslims. Please quote from the Koran or the hadith or any fatwas from Muslims of any time and creed. You may even quote the deviated ones. Which one dare to refer or claim that Allah is the moon god? If you can't, then please desist. You'll be labelled as a liar if you can't prove your allegation, Len.

We, Muslims do not worship earthly beings, living or non living things,seen or unseen by the naked eyes. We worship the Creator of all things. All in this world will perish. He would not and cannot.

The Beneficent
With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.

[55:26]
Every one who is on it (the earth) has to perish.

[55:27]
And your Lord’s Countenance will remain, full of majesty, full of honour.

[55:28]
So, which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

[55:29]
All those in the heavens and the earth beseech Him (for their needs.) Every day He is in a state of action.

[55:30]
So, which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

[55:31]
Soon We are going to spare Ourselves for you (to reckon your deeds), O two heavy species (of Jinn and mankind)!

[55:32]
So, which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

[55:33]
O genera of Jinn and mankind, If you are able to penetrate beyond the realms of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate. You cannot penetrate without power.

[55:34]
So, which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

15 January 2011 at 14:11  
Anonymous len said...

The Arabic name for “God” is the word “Al-ilah.” It is a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Different Arab tribes used “Allah” to refer to its personal high god. “Allah” was being worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca by Arabs prior to the time of Mohammed. It was formerly the name of the chief god among the numerous idols (360) in the Kaaba in Mecca before Mohammed made them into monotheists. Historians have shown that the moon god called “Hubal” was the god to whom Arabs prayed at the Kaa’ba and they used the name “Allah” when they prayed.

15 January 2011 at 17:39  
Anonymous len said...

Srizels
I think you should look at the thing on the top of your Mosque when you next go.Notice the shape?Remind you of anything?

15 January 2011 at 17:48  
Blogger English Viking said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2011 at 19:19  
Blogger English Viking said...

Srizals,

Why do you have 'The Red Crescent' emergency service, instead of 'The Red Cross'?

15 January 2011 at 19:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, your Grace. Our prayers are with the suffering Iranian church and it is a warning to us in the West of what the Gospels warn will befall those who follow Christ.

On the topic of the moon god and significance of the crescent, I for one, am tired of hearing the claim that Jews, Christians and Mohammedans worships the same God.

How can that be so? If Christians worship one God in Trinity, then those who reject the Triune Godhead, are in serious error for rejecting the full revelation. At best their belief in God is a sub-Christian caricature of the true God; at worst wilful rejection of divine revelation.

So for our Jewish and Mohammedan friends, we share monotheism but must acknowledge their rejection of the full mystery of the Godhead in the revelation of the Triune God.

So many Christians exhibit theological amnesia in order to arrive at some form of consensus or shared sense of belief with others. Those who reject (aka 'play down') the Trinity for the sake of pan-religious harmony are guilty of apostasy.

Your Grace was so wise to stipulate the frequest recitation of the Quicunque Vult or Creed of St Athanasius at
Mattins in the Book of Common Prayer. This lyrical hymn to the mystery of the Trinity and the Incarnation of the Word witnesses to the centrality of these life-giving doctrines.

16 January 2011 at 07:23  
Blogger srizals said...

Why do we have the Red Crescent?

Err, to try and save people with first aid, English Viking? Red Cross would be reminding us of the barbaric torture instrument invented by the barbaric heartless pagans! Who enjoyed watching humans die slowly in agony. Just like Vlad, the Impaler, who had practised much more sickening and revolting method than the pagans. And he was absolutely not a Muslim! And he is what now, Mr. Viking?

Len, no Muslims revered the crescent as the Christians did with the cross. It's just a symbol of identification for Muslim, started by the Ottoman. And since we have the lunar calendar, which has a lot to do with our prayers, tasks and livelihood, the crescent was favoured instead of the cross. For example if anyone spit or defile the crescent, no stupid terrorists would even try to burn their underwear in planes to copy cat their tormentors' terror! We do not call it the Holy Crescent as the Christians would call the cross.

Len, what sources do you have that said the pagans called one of their idols as Allah? Care to share?
English Viking, since you resent Islam and Arabs and anything that has to do with such 'filth', please refrain from consuming alcohol. You know who invented distillation right? And from what language does the alcohol get its name from, Mr. E. Viking? And how did chemistry find its way into the English dictionary? I hope chess isn't one of your favourite past time. Sorry for the late reply, my real world is speeding up.

16 January 2011 at 16:58  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Srizals -

I fear your adherence to Islam is due, at heart, to a convoluted (?) form of 'racism' - to deny Islam would somehow be to deny yourself.

Now, being A Brit' I have an understanding of that. We Brits are, from the moment of birth (if not before)something different. One hesitates to be more precise; politeness etc. Therefore, we are used to, and understand, the yearning nature of other peoples.

You just have to accept it old chum, you can't dress-up your religion in the hope of making yourself something 'other' - it just don't work that way, alas.

I mean, what were the Malay peoples before Islam crept along the Silk-Road? Why, for that matter, are the Malays subjugate to Article 160 of the Constitution of Malaysia, of 1957?

Simples: a racial, quasi-religious attempt NOT to be British, because they couldn't be, no matter how much they might wish to be, eh?

The French understand this too, only too well. It might be said that we Brits created the French, because all they have ever done, is to strive to be, well, to be French. They define themselves by how un-British they are.

It's ineffably sad, but quite understandable. Mind you, I'll say this for the Frogs, they never felt the need to invent their own God ... although, come to think of it, they did have Napoleon, which perhaps explains a lot! :o}

16 January 2011 at 19:02  
Blogger English Viking said...

Srizals,

I've told you once, I am perfectly sober. I am allowed the freedom to take a drink now and then though, my God is not so petty as to require abstinence. BTW, If alcohol is such a bad thing, forbidden to the moon-worshippers, how come those who 'behave' themselves in this life, get to drink from rivers of the stuff in the next life? Served by boys of 'perpetual youth'?

You have the Crescent on your ambulances, mosques, national flags and use the lunar calendar because your religion is based on the worship of the moon. You admit in your comment that the moon 'has a lot to do with our prayers, tasks and livelihood'.

The cross as an icon is not something my religion recognises; it was not the cross, but the work accomplished on it, by the Christ, which is important.

I have no idea what you are talking about with regard to Vlad the impaler. Perhaps you should lay off the sauce?

If you are attempting to claim that the muslims are the forefathers of Chemistry, you would be sadly mistaken. Because of their backwardness, they have contributed next to nothing to modern life. Apart from the Internet, of course, which was created in 1962 by a Saudi, using two pieces of string, a coke can and goat's testicle.

If Mo had a special revelation, which no-one else had heard of before, including the name of your so-called god, how come his father was called Abdullah?

In case you didn't know, that's Arabic for 'servant of allah'.

How can his father have been a servant of a god whose name was not revealed until his son was a full grown man?

16 January 2011 at 20:32  

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