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(Photo: Heart4Iran)Heart4Iran ministry photo of baptism.
A coalition of Iranian church leaders and pastors have come together for the first time to ask for prayers for the re-emerging Church in Iran on Sunday's International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
Mike - Ansari - President - Group - Heart4Iran
Mike Ansari, president of missionary group Heart4Iran, told The Christian Post in an email on Thursday that IDOP has been around for years, but a specific focus this year will be on the persecuted believers in Iran, as they continue seeing big changes to the country's religious landscape.
"This day is designed to bring much needed global attention and awareness to the plight of the persecuted church and isolated persecuted Christians," Ansari told CP. "We pray for a positive global response to this effort."
Number - Reports - Christian - Faith - Country
A number of reports have pointed to the growing and re-emerging Christian faith in the country, but Ansari said it's important to remember that the Church was strong in Iran even before the rise of Islam.
"Much of today's Islamic world, including Iran, was once Christian. The churches across Iran and Iraq were once great and enduring churches, which sent the first missionaries to China. Yet with [the] emergence of Islam, these communities were marginalized and at times completely destroyed," he said.
Re-emergence - Christianity - Iran - God - Move
"It seems there is an organic re-emergence of Christianity across Iran. God is on the move and building His Church. With growth comes persecution. We're asking everyone who believes in Jesus to lift-up Iran and Iranians in their prayers on Nov. 4," he asked.
Indeed there have been multiple arrests of pastors and churchgoers in the past several months, including the 10-year jail term for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in May, who was previously sentenced to death for apostasy.
Christians - Saheb - Fadaie - Fatemeh - Bakhteri
Iranian Christians Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri were also sentenced to 18 and 12 months in prison, respectively, in September.
Ansari suggested that U.S....
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