Page 7 - Persecution-Trends-Report-2024
P. 7

‘Whilst we give thanks to the Lord
that there has not been a wave of
persecution against those who have
converted (even though some of these
can face opposition from family or
harassment in their work or studies)
there is obviously a campaign to try
to stop the spread of Christianity, to
arrest those who are leading house
churches and those who are involved
in evangelism and teaching,’ said our
‘Persecution is on the increase because
the authorities are aware of the growth
in the number of converts and house
Persecution of Christians
in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Karakalpakstan (an autonomous
region within Uzbekistan), Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the
Buddhist Republic of Kalmykya is
expected to remain broadly unchanged
although from a human rights point of
view there have been improvements in
Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan.
churches and are determined at all
costs to stem this. In fact their overall
goal is to exterminate the Persian-
speaking church and only allow the
Christian minority groups to operate.
Longer prison sentences are being
given by the courts to some Christian
workers. We are thankful that one who
was sentenced to ten years has now
been released but another has recently
started his sentence of ten years.
‘There is no doubt that the Government
is upset and concerned that
disillusioned Muslims are becoming
Christians. They are not willing to
accept and acknowledge the rights
of those who have converted from a
Muslim background.’
Our partner said it was likely that
converts and in particular workers
and leaders would continue to face
increasing pressures in 2024.
‘The very fear of persecution is a worry
as believers meeting in their house
group do not know if they are under
surveillance or not. These pressures
have led to an exodus of some believers/
workers from Iran and this is likely
to continue in 2024. However, many
Iranian refugees who have been living
in Turkey for many years are finding
it increasingly difficult to be able to
remain there and some are facing
deportation back to Iran.’
Our partner said that the protests and
demonstrations under the banner of
“Woman, Life, Freedom” in the past
year presented a significant challenge
to the Islamic republic.
‘This movement has now been largely
suppressed but the ongoing controls,
repression and increased surveillance
only adds pressure on believers, house
churches and any Christian activity.’
At the same time the number of
Iranians coming to Christ continued
to increase in 2023. There are many
economic pressures at the present
time but house churches, along with
support from Release International,
have helped needy believers by
providing food and medicines.
‘A unique situation exists in Iran in that,
even though the Government is firmly
opposed to the work of the gospel, many
disillusioned Iranians are seeking God.
The recent unrest and upheaval inside
the country demonstrated the fact
that people want justice and freedom.
Therefore at a time like this, all means
of evangelism, such as the Christian
satellite programmes, social media and
the ministry of workers on the ground,
become so strategic.’
 Pray for the protection of house
churches. In view of security
pressures, groups are meeting in
smaller numbers than before. Pray
against a spirit of fear, and that they
will know the peace and the presence
of the Lord
 For the training of new workers
which will provide desperately
needed human resources on the
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