2020 WORLD WATCH LIST #9IRAN
2020 WORLD WATCH LIST RANK: 9
LEADER: Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khameni
POPULATION: 82 million
CHRISTIAN POPULATION: 800,000
MAIN RELIGION: Islam
PERSECUTION LEVEL: Extreme
PERSECUTION SOURCE: Islamic Oppression
Open Doors supports the church in the Persian Speaking World through:
• Bible and Christian literature distribution
• Discipleship training
• Trauma counseling
• Christian multimedia initiatives
Christianity is seen as a Western influence and a threat to the Islamic regime in Iran. Christians are seen as agents from the West. Citizens are closely monitored with sophisticated technology for illegal Christian activities, even those who are living overseas.
“Crimes against national security”
All ethnic Persians, who form majority of the population, are seen as Muslims. It is illegal to evangelize to them, produce Christian literature or hold church services in Farsi, their language. A Persian who leaves Islam can be punished with death – although they are more likely to be imprisoned for “crimes against national security”. There are officially no church services held in Farsi, but there are house-churches formed by believers from a Muslim background. These underground groups are monitored and frequently raided. Those present will be arrested, especially the leaders. Almost 200 Christians were arrested in the WWL2020 reporting period.
Christians of Armenian and Assyrian descent are allowed to practice their faith, but they still face discrimination, and will face imprisonment, abuse, and harassment if they do reach out to Muslims.
• For Christians who are in prison right now for their faith in Christ. Pray that God will sustain them, and give them strength to show His love to their fellow inmates and prison guards.
• For Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khameni, that he will have an encounter with Jesus and come to a saving knowledge of Him.
• That the believers who have been rejected by their families because of their choice to follow Jesus will find new families in the church.