From Voice of the Martyrs Email:
(ASSIST News Service)
According to Open Doors, Muslim background believers (MBBs) are outlawed for the first time in years. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime is dealing a severe blow to Christian revival in the country. “The last 10 years were relatively calm,” said Open Doors staff worker Stefan van Velde. “Between 1990 and 2004, Christian life wasn’t easy, but we counted fewer arrests and fewer incidents of torture than in the period before 1990. But, in September 2004, almost 90 church leaders were arrested. Hamid Pourmand, one of the leaders, is still in prison. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and miraculously escaped the death penalty.” Police and secret services also contribute to this persecution. Since the summer of 2005, more Christians have been temporarily arrested and beaten. Ghorban Dordi Tourani, a house-church leader, was assassinated in November 2005. Ethnic Christians are still allowed to express their faith within their own church walls, but Muslim background believers face tremendous risk. The government wants them to return to Islam. Churches are forbidden to support these MBBs. As a result, ethnic churches are removing their support from their brothers and sisters of Muslim origin. The MBBs now form little cell groups which only meet in secret. Van Velde said, “They aren’t intimidated by the government and continue to spread the gospel. Muslims who came to the Lord in the past few years fear nothing and nobody.”
Pray the Muslim background believers will remain loving and bold in their faith. Pray Hamid Pourmand will know Jesus’ presence with him and have opportunities to share his faith. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in revival power among the ethnic Christian community, giving them a fearless love for their MBB brethren.