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.

Pastor Behnam Irani. (Present Truth Ministries photo)

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.

Quran Gate in Shiraz, Iran (Amir Hussain Zolfaghary, Wikipedia)

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 […]

Iran Steps Up Campaign of Terror against House Churches

Saeed Abedini tortured, beaten.

Iranian security agents beat U.S.-Iranian pastor Saeed Abedini.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – Iran’s secret police and Revolutionary Guard are subjecting Christians to a continuing wave of arrests, and increased torture and brutal beatings, in an effort to crush the house-church movement, activists said. Human rights activists confirmed that there has been a noticeable increase this month in the number of reported assaults […]

Christian Prisoner in Iran Protests Harsh Treatment with Hunger Strike

Convert from Islam, others imprisoned for practicing their faith.

Ali Hosseini Khamenei. (Wikipedia)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A convert from Islam in Iran sentenced to serve almost four years in prison for Christian activities has gone on a hunger strike to protest the government’s refusal to grant his request for release, religious freedom advocates said. Vahid Hakkani began his hunger strike on March 20 after authorities denied […]

Anti-Christian Violence Detailed in Hearing Calling for Filling of Religious Freedom Post

Author calls Orissa violence worst pogrom against Christians of 21st century.

USCIRF Commissioner Elliott Abrams. (Gage Skidmore)

LOS ANGELES, February 11, 2014 (Morning Star News) – The worst anti-Christian pogrom of the 21st century has come not from Islamic extremists but from Hindu nationalists in India, an expert told a hearing in which U.S. President Barack Obama was challenged to quickly fill a key religious freedom post. John L. Allen, Jr., author […]

Iran’s Mix of ‘Token Gestures’ and Arrests May Indicate Internal Disputes

Crackdown continues even as other Christian prisoners are released.

The Rev. Vruir Avanessian. (Mohabat News)

CAIRO, Egypt (Morning Star News) – Iran’s goodwill gestures and the release from prison of some Christians even as authorities make new arrests could indicate infighting between the new president and Islamist hard-liners, analysts said. Hassan Rouhani began duties as president of Iran last August on a platform of pragmatic moderation. At Christmas, frequently a season […]

Morning Star News’ Top 10 Persecution Stories of 2013

In Nigeria, terrorists weren’t the only ones terrorizing Christians.

Lyop Dangyel suffered three gunshot wounds and lost two of her three daughters in attack in Torok, Plateau state. (Morning Star News)

(Morning Star News) – Last year Egypt saw its greatest level of attacks on Christians; more Christians were killed in Syria’s civil war than anywhere else; and an Islamist rebel take-over in the Central African Republic brought new atrocities to the historically unstable country. But where political instability and civil war were not contributing factors, […]

U.S.-Iran Relations and the Hope of Iranian Christians

Worldly might darkens the human rights landscape.

Iranian flag (Wikipedia)

(Morning Star News) – The lament that human rights was not on the agenda when the United States and Iran recently met in Geneva for historic talks was right and proper. It must be understood, however, that for Iran, the issue of religious liberty (as defined by the West) is simply not negotiable. The regime […]

Hope Dims for Religious Rights in Iran with Sanctions Deal

Leverage could be lost, rights advocates say.

Rajaei-Shahr Prison in Karaj, outside Tehran. (Wikipedia)

CAIRO (Morning Star News) – As Western powers prepare to ease economic sanctions against Iran in support of a new nuclear non-proliferation treaty, human rights activists say leverage for winning freedom for prisoners of faith may about to be lost. A human rights advocate and researcher who monitors Iran for Christian Solidarity Worldwide said his colleagues […]

Convert from Islam Flees Iranian Authorities’ Torture, Threats

Christian goes into hiding after secret police learn of his activities.

Marks of Armin Davoodi's interrogation by authorities in Iran. (Morning Star News)

ISTANBUL (Morning Star News) – The young woman in Tehran, Iran who introduced her boyfriend to Jesus hasn’t seen him since he fled the city, but his dreams give her hope that he is well. The Iranian woman has heard that since Armin Davoodi fled authorities who threatened him with death for proclaiming Christ earlier this […]

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