If you’re part of a traditional Christian community in Iran, your faith is likely tolerated. But you aren’t allowed to worship or read the Bible in Farsi, Iran’s language, or have any contact with Christians who have converted from Islam. If you’re caught supporting converts, you may be sent to prison.
Conversion from Islam to Christianity is illegal in Iran, with the government viewing conversion as an attempt by the West to undermine Islam and the Islamic government of Iran. This means that anyone who is discovered to be a member of a house church can be charged with a crime against national security, which can lead to long prison sentences. Anyone arrested or detained can be tortured and abused while in jail.
Christian converts who left Islam can lose their inheritance, unmarried Christians can be forced into marriage to a Muslim, and married believers may be forced to divorce or face losing their children.
“I witnessed (and still see) how He changes people! [For instance,] Vahid was a boy who cursed me and caused me a lot of trouble. When I told him the simple [truth that] ‘Jesus loves you’, he stopped. Today, Vahid serves with me. It’s encouraging and a blessing to me to witness such transformations. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.”
Sanaz (name changed), a Christian convert in Iran.
What does Open Doors do to help?
Open Doors raises prayer support for the believers in Iran.