The 5-5-5 Challenge: A Story of Persecution in Iran

June 5, 2013 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution

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Authorities in Iran ordered the closure of a church in the capital, Tehran, amid a government campaign to crack down on the few recognized churches offering Farsi-speaking services.

The order came from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Intelligence branch. The Revolutionary Guard, also known as Sepah, is known for its military aggression. Authorities ordered it to shut down some years ago according to Monsour Borji, an Iranian Christian.

“Unfortunately, it is now official the church in Janat-Abad [district] was ordered to shut down,” said Borji. “If no reverse decision is made, no meetings will be held. Due to an increasing number of Farsi-speaking believers mostly MBBs [Muslim Background Believers] it has become a cause of concern for the authorities and they now ordered it to shut down.”

Earlier the leadership of the AOG Central Church of Tehran, after 20 years of pressure from authorities to provide a list of church members, asked its members to volunteer their names and national ID numbers. The government move was aimed at limiting attendance by converts from Islam to Christianity, as well as to better monitor its members. Almost all members of the church’s two Sunday services come from Muslim families. Both services are held in Farsi.

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