Archive for Iran

Iranian Christian Arrested Without Charges

Posted in Iran with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2008 by Mike

Compass Direct News is reporting that Eight policemen arrested Mohsen Namvar, 44, from his Tehran home on May 31, refusing to provide any reason for his arrest.

The officers confiscated a number of the Christian’s personal belongings including his computer, printer, CDs, books and money. His location remains unknown.

An Iranian pastor residing outside the country said that Namvar had anticipated that police would come for him.

“I know that if they decide to kill me as a martyr, you will care for my wife and my children,” the father of two told the Iranian pastor last month.

Acquaintances warned Namvar that he had been implicated during police interrogations of Christians in the city of Amol in April, the pastor residing abroad said. That month officials had detained several Christians in Amol, 80 miles northeast of Tehran, releasing them over the following weeks.

Treatment of Christians in jail follows a customary pattern, the pastor said: Authorities put them in jail for a few weeks and beat them in an attempt to get information about other converts.

Police had previously detained and tortured Namvar for baptizing Muslim converts to Christianity. The Christian was unable to walk for several months after police repeatedly applied electrical shocks to his back in the spring of 2007.

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Spiritual revolution in Middle East

Posted in Overseas with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2006 by Mike

Just ran across Joel C. Rosenberg’s blog. In case you haven’t heard of him, he has written some great novels, the first of which was “The Last Jihad”. I guess that since I’ve only just finished reading this first one, I can’t actually say the rest are great, but he did win “Best Novel of 2006” by the ECPA for “The Ezekiel Option”. He’s got a great post about how Christianity is spreading throughout the Middle East, even in those countries which are run by fundamentalist Islamic regimes.

Iraq: more than 5,000 new Muslim converts to Christianity have been identified since the end of major combat operations, with 14 new churches opened in Baghdad, and dozens of new churches opened in Kurdistan, some of which have 500 to 800 members. Also, more than 1 million Bibles shipped into the country since 2003, and pastors report Iraqis are snatching them up so fast they constantly need more Bibles.Egypt: some reports say 1 million Egyptians have trusted Christ over the past decade or so. The Egyptian Bible Society told me they used to sell about 3,000 copies of the JESUS film a year in the early 1990s. But last year they sold 600,000 copies, plus 750,000 copies of the Bible on tape (in Arabic) and about a half million copies of the Arabic New Testament. “Egyptians are increasingly hungry for God’s Word,” an Egyptian Christian leader told me. Last Christmas, I had the privilege of visiting the largest Christian congregation in the Middle East, which meets in an enormous cave on the outskirts of Cairo. Some 10,000 believers worship there every weekend. A prayer conference the church held in May 2005 drew some 20,000 believers.

Afghanistan: only 17 Muslim converts to Christianity before 9/11/01, but now more than 10,000. Dozens of baptisms every week.

Kazakstan: only 3 known Christians in 1990, but now more than 15,000.

Uzbekistan: no known Christians in 1990, but now more than 30,000.

Sudan: more than 1 million Sudanese have converted to Christianity just since 2000, and some 5 million have become Christians since the early 1990s, despite a radical Islamic regime and an on-going genocide that has killed more than 200,000. Seminaries are being held in caves to train pastors to shepherd the huge numbers of people coming to Christ. Why such a dramatic spiritual awakening? “People have seen real Islam, and they want Jesus instead,” one Sudanese evangelical leader told me.

Iran: in 1979, there were only 500 known Muslim converts to Christianity, but today Iranian pastors and evangelical leaders tell me there are more than 1 million Iranian believers in Jesus Christ, most of whom meet in underground house churches.

He’s got some more great stories in the rest of the post.