Christian Prisoner in Iran Begins Hunger Strike over Denial of Medical Treatment

Woman with heart condition incarcerated for role in house-church movement.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A convert to Christianity imprisoned for her involvement in the Iranian house-church movement has gone on a hunger strike to protest denial of needed medical treatment, religious freedom advocates said. Maryam Naghash Zargaran, 36, started her hunger strike on Friday (May 27) because a prosecutor has repeatedly denied permission to […]

Amid Crackdown, Prisoner in Iran Encourages Faithful to Stand Strong

Christian sneaks out message to flocks increasingly without pastors.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – In the face of a crackdown that has crippled Iran’s house-church leadership, an imprisoned convert from Islam has managed to sneak a message of encouragement to Iran’s Christians. With Iran’s house churches mushrooming even as the government has imprisoned or harassed most pastors into exile, a Christian held in Rajai […]

Iran Releases U.S.-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini in Prisoner Swap

Wife, children excited to see him after more than three years of imprisonment.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Iran released U.S.-Iranian pastor Saeed Abedini today, more than three years after authorities arrested him on charges of “threatening national security” by planting churches, according to several sources. Abedini was released along with four other prisoners, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, in a prisoner swap, Iran’s official Islamic Republic […]

U.S.-Iranian Pastor Abedini’s Ordeal in Iran Tests, Builds Faith of Wife, Children

Addressing president of Iran or her kids, Naghmeh Abedini chooses words carefully.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday declined to meet with the wife of imprisoned U.S.-Iranian- pastor Saeed Abedini during his trip to the United Nations, days after the Christian’s wife learned he had recently been tortured. Rouhani instead said in a television interview that releasing Iranian criminals held in U.S. prisons […]

Authorities in Iran Increase Pressure on U.S-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini, Advocate Says

Jailers threaten to keep him in prison indefinitely.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Iranian authorities over the past month have increased pressure on imprisoned U.S.-Iranian pastor Saeed Abedini by threatening to keep him in prison indefinitely, a legal advocate said. Authorities seem to be taking a “carrot-and-stick” approach to Abedini – burying him under a mountain of new, petty charges while promising him […]

The Islamic State: Hastening the Apocalypse?

Motives for unspeakable cruelty lie in Sunni 'End of Days’ teaching.

(Morning Star News) – Since summer 2014, the Islamist terrorist group ISIS – a.k.a. Islamic State – has devastated the political, geographic and combat landscape of the Middle East. At the same time, along with its ominous black banners, it has raised worrisome questions about the true nature of Islam. For the Middle East’s ancient […]

Authorities in Iran Raid Christians’ Homes, Ask Them to Leave Country

Convert who received 80 lashes for drinking communion wine among those interrogated.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A Christian in Iran who received 80 lashes for drinking communion wine has been asked to leave the country, human right activists said. Agents from the Iranian intelligence service, known as VEVAK, on Feb. 16 raided the home of Mehdi Reza Omidi and two other members of house churches in Rasht, […]

Morning Star News’ Top 10 Persecution Stories of 2014

For once, good news – miraculous righting of horrific injustice in Sudan – tops list.

(Morning Star News) – In a year that saw a new level of cruelty unleashed upon Christians and other religious minorities across Syria, Iraq and Africa, one once obscure case of injustice in Sudan turned into a titanic battle that gripped the world’s attention. The battle appeared to be spiritual as much as legal. 1 – […]

Behnam Irani, Two Others Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Christian Activities in Iran

House-church leaders to serve sentences in remote, harsh prisons.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – In what was termed a “serious blow” to house-church leader Behnam Irani, Iran has sentenced him and two other Christian leaders to six years in prison for their involvement in house churches, human rights groups learned this week. Irani, Abdolreza Ali-Haghnejad and Reza Rabbani, all leaders in the Church of […]

Pastors in Iran Could Face Death Penalty

Christians flee unprecedented crackdown.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Three pastors in Iran are facing charges that could lead to the death penalty for activities in the house-church movement in an unprecedented crackdown on converts from Islam, according to human rights groups. Iranian authorities recently filed charges against Silas Rabbani, assistant pastor in a Church of Iran group in […]