On 24 June, an engagement ceremony in Iran was raided by security agents. While ten people were initially arrested, all but four were released.
UPDATE 9 November 2016: Relatives and friends of three Christians from Azerbaijan and an Iranian Christian are delighted to report that they have all been released from prison on bail, and the Azerbaijanis were able to travel back home on the 6th of November.
The four men were kept in solitary confinement for two months and interrogated. Their whereabouts were not made known, to the concern of family members. They were refused access to consular assistance or legal counsel during the initial period of their detention. In September they were transferred out of solitary confinement to shared cells in Ward 350 in Evin Prison, much to their mutual encouragement. They face charges of engaging in missionary activity and propaganda against the regime, but it is hoped that they will be acquitted of these charges.
All over the Middle East and North Africa, Muslims who have converted to Christianity struggle with their new identity in Christ. Leaving Islam often leads to exclusion, isolation and sometimes even violence or death.
Following Christ as a former Muslim might cost you these five things:
1. Your Family
A family having a picnic in Oman.
Often, direct relatives are the first and heaviest persecutors of believers from a Muslim background. Continue reading
This blog is from Open Doors Australia CEO, Mike Gore. Check out his blog here.
As I walked through the streets of Old Islamic Cairo everywhere I looked I saw passion, devotion and a spiritual discipline that I can’t help but acknowledge… sometimes it’s in the wrong things even the wrong God!
But every now and then as though a light piercing through the darkest of nights I saw it explode into life pointed in the right direction and at the right God and it was one of the most inspirational and contagious things I’ve ever seen.
True Passion causes people to risk everything… life, family, wealth and status all in a radical pursuit of God.
I recently spent time with 2 beautiful girls from Iran Miriam and Marzieyh. They were so desperate to share Christ with their nation they secretly distributed almost 20,000 Bibles in Tehran. Sadly, they were caught distributing these Bibles and placed into the notorious Evin Prison and sentenced to death by hanging. Continue reading
One important part of our ministry over many recent years has been the annual Open Doors World Watch List. Since 2003, through research conducted by contacts and leaders in the field, Open Doors have ranked the top 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
Although Open Doors and our supporters have been aware of the suffering faced by Christians for many decades, the past 12 months particularly, have seen a wave of persecution directed at Christian communities making international headlines:
- The Islamic State sweeping across Iraq and the civil war in Syria seeing scores killed and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
- The April kidnapping of more than 250 girls from the predominately Christian village of Chibok in Nigeria.
- The imprisonment of Christian Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan.
- The brutal November murder of Christian couple Shama Bibi and Shehzad Masih in Pakistan – the list goes on and on.
The Top 10 countries where Christians face the most pressure and violence in 2015 are Continue reading
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide are persecuted.
Every year, Open Doors publishes the World Watch List, naming the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted. There are over 65 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith. Here are the top 10 countries where Christians face the most persecution:
- North Korea