Pressure Points of Persecution
Easily we could surmise that Pastor Youcef's plight is unique; that other believers do not face the same pressure and persecution that he does. Not all are in prison, but all live in grave danger because of their faith in Jesus. Each of our key leaders in Iran faces pressure points of persecution.
These excerpts from communications we have received since April give you a sense of the increasing severity of the situation. As you read, try to put yourself and your family in their circumstances and feel their pressure.
During this month pressure has become a lot. Government Security system arrested some of the church members and they are in prison yet. Also they got me and ask so many questions about our leaders. They called my mother and scared her. They knew every piece of information about my family. My parents are concerned about my life because the security calls them everyday and threatens them.
Pray for me and family. We will leave Iran. We can't stay any more. We want to see God's will. Please send training in English and Farsi on CD to give to guys. This will cover many families and home groups.
I don't like to be a refugee, but I think I don't have a choice...The Islamic government has all telephone numbers and ID numbers. They are sending our members SMS warnings. They have warned me a lot.
|Recently the regime of Iran has carried out a bad plan for teachers and ministers of church. They control severely everything in church and we are hearing everyday someone from church goes for Interrogation. Please pray for Iran's churches.
Our leader came out of Iran for few days and he said that they have received death warnings. Nothing is clear at this point.
The pressure here is soooooo much. The devil is working with all of his power.
Light in Deep Darkness
According to Reach Out's point person for Iran, the situation is worse than it has ever been since the 1979 revolution that ousted the Shah. Many churches have been forced to shut down. Two of our five key leaders have been forced to leave the country due to pressure.
Yet in Iran the Light shines in a very deep darkness. Over 4 million believers live in Iran. Even though discontent is very high, many people find Jesus. Often this happens through dreams and visions. Only the Light can invade this deep darkness.
For now we have suspended our ministry to Iran. For two years we have had great joy in paying the costs to bring key youth leaders out of the country for training in Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry and to give them needed resources.
Most of the time, I update you with glowing, yet realistic, ministry reports. But in the case of Iran, our hands are tied. For now, we must wait, and, above all, pray. Will you pray with me?
|Lord Jesus, for our brothers and sisters in Iran who love you and who face persecution because they claim your Name, will you protect them from harm? Will you stand against Satan and his minions who bring darkness and evil throughout the land? Will you give all believers, and Reach Out's leaders particularly, grace and courage to stay faithful to you? Will you, through the supernatural work of your Spirit, continue to draw people to Jesus in record numbers?
My close friends in Iran will benefit from your prayers. . And I am grateful to you for patiently engaging with Reach Out in our ongoing commitment to them.