|Last year’s rank||9|
|Population||86 023 000|
|Christians||1 245 000 (Open Doors estimate)|
Iran is ruled by an increasingly strict Islamic regime. The outlook for Iranian Christians, in particular converts from Islam to Christianity, is by no means improving.
Believers from a Muslim Background can only meet in secret house churches. They are at great risk of being monitored, harassed, arrested and prosecuted for ‘crimes against national security’. Iranian house church leaders and members have received long prison sentences involving physical and mental abuse.
Iranian Christians may be banned from education, lose their jobs and find it very difficult to get back into employment. For women, the situation is even more precarious because Iranian law grants women few rights. It’s no surprise that many Iranian believers feel forced to leave Iran and try to start a new life elsewhere.
In the past year there has been an increase in violent incidents, including an abduction. State surveillance is also on the rise and the authorities are exerting an increasing grip on daily life and activities, an attitude reflected in the harsh responses to the protests that followed the death of Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022.
“When we were in solitary confinement, the only thing that strengthened us was prayer. Only God can go to those dark places and dungeons and be strength for His children.”
Ali and his family had to flee to Turkey after becoming Christians, due to constant persecution and discrimination
How does Open Doors support our family in Iran?
Open Doors partners support the Church in Iran with online ministry presence, Christian multimedia initiatives and advocacy.