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Evangelism in Iran Criticized

Iran’s Ayatollah Vahid Khorosani has criticized Christian evangelism in the country and said that Shiite youth are turning to God and being misled by Christianity.

The Mohabat News Iranian Christian News Agency reported that according to the government affiliated news website “Ayandeh,” the Ayatollah slammed the Christian faith during his March 9 religious class for students in the Islamic seminary of Qom.

Mohabat reported the Ayatollah said no one is telling government officials what Christian evangelism is doing in Qom. (Qom is a religious city 140 km south of Tehran, and home to many Grand Ayatollahs in the country).

Mphabat reported the Ayatollah added that if the authorities really understood Christianity as being a threat to their power they would confront it head on. But, he said, that’s not happening, and as a result, “they do nothing against these evangelists who are misleading our Shiite youth population.”

Mohabat said the Supreme Leader of the Islamic republic (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) also warned against the growth of homes churches in Iran during his visit in Oct. 2010 to Qom. He called them the enemies of Islam.

Mohabat said the Supreme Leader’s remarks were a green light to arrest Iranian Christians, especially new Christian converts with Muslim backgrounds. The governor of Tehran Province also called Christian evangelists, “the radicals who want to corrupt and divert the body of Islam.”

According to Mohabat, Iranian Christians have faced an organized wave of arrests since last Christmas, which led to the imprisonment of 200 believers in Iran. Twenty of them, Mohabat added, have had no progress made in their cases and await an uncertain future while holed up in detention centers.

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