Christian Movement Growing in Iran; Up to 1 Million
Mon, March 7, 2016
Maryam Rostampour was imprisoned in Iran for practicing Christianity. (Photo: Video screenshot)
While Christians are routinely arrested and imprisoned for practicing their faith in Iran, estimates of the number of Christians worshipping in secret number in the hundreds of thousands and that is only growing.
Open Doors USA, a non-profit Christian group that provides support to persecuted Christians living under oppressive regimes, records about 450,000 Christians in Iran. Others place the number closer to a million.
Christians in Iran are forced to keep their religion under wraps. They worship in house churches with a maximum of four to five others. The group must change their meeting place each time they get together.
A push to train Christian leaders was launched by the London-based Pars Theological Centre, which says it is currently training 200 Iranian Christians.
"This is not a political movement at all, but it will have political implications because it is touching the core foundations of society,” a spokesperson for Pars stated. "If you want to live in a country that doesn't fund terrorists, you have to develop the values of the grassroots."
The spokesperson emphasized the leadership training is not “anti-Iranian” in nature, but rather a means to “transform the Iranian society from the bottom up.”
The majority of the leadership training is done in Iran through offline computer training materials. Students stay in touch with their mentors through email. In addition, Pars broadcasts courses into Iran through two satellite channels.
Watch this video on persecution of Christians in Iran: