Friday, February 25, 2011

Iran's Supreme Leader warns against House Church movement

House church leaders fear a new wave of persecution after a threatening speech by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei. In a speech on Oct. 19, 2010, he warned against the 'network of house churches' that 'threaten Islamic faith and deceive you Muslims.' Iranian Christians hope the speech will not result in more pressure but instead will draw more Iranians to Christ.

A house church leader from Iran who asked to remain anonymous said, "I think this is the first time that he openly agitates aginst the house church movement and mentions it specifically. Speeches like this often have far raching consequences in the country. Not that the people of Iran react with violence aginst Christians, but behind the scenes, the security services and religious police will take measures. That is what leaders of house churches fear the most at this moment.

"To mention an upside of this," the church leader added, "now that Khamenei mentions and acknowledges that there is a house church movement, this may encourage secret believers or motivate seekers for Christian faith to find out if strands of these networks are available in their city or neighborhood."

(from Voice of the Martyrs, February 2011)

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