Thursday, June 25, 2009

Iranian Christians hesitant to get involved in protests

World Magazine posted an excellent article on the response of Iranian Christians to the recent electoral unrest in Iran. Here’s a taste:

Estimates of Iran’s Christian population range from 2 to 7 million out of a country of approximately 67 million mostly Shiite Muslims. According to Open Doors, more than 100,000 of Iranian Christians are so-called “secret believers” who remain publicly identified as Muslims but meet in rapidly growing numbers of house churches.

This month’s street protests and the furor over the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has raised important questions for the country’s Christian minority, who generally avoid political engagement.

“As long as the sovereignty is in the hand of supreme leader, no matter who comes [to power] Christians will always be under threat. Under his power, the country is ruled by Islamic [Sharia] law, and therefore non-Muslims, including Christians, must be dealt according to the Islamic law,” said Daniel Shayesteh, a Christian convert and former member of Hezbollah in Iran now serving as a Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor in Australia.

Adding to the ambivalence of Iranian Christians, lead opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi is remembered as anti-Jew and anti-Christian when he served as prime minister in the 1980s. Shayesteh told me by email that it’s not clear to most Christians whether Mousavi now favors “a softer approach” toward non-Muslims. [click here to read the remainder of the article]

Please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Iran at this time.  I posted a blog yesterday that you might find helpful in this regard.

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