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Who are Iranian Christians?

by Ezgi Site Trying to find new opportunities

It’s a general view among the world that Iran is a country full of Muslims. However, it might be astonishing for most people that after 1980, many Iranian Muslims turned to Christ. This new kind of religious development spread throughout Iran and its neighboring countries. As a result, the Christianity grew very rapidly throughout the Iran and the Churches held a stronger commitment to Christ.

The number of Iranian Christians in the year 2002 was around 60,000 and half of them were the Muslims who converted to Christianity. Western Christians were having different kinds of attitudes towards such conversions back then. One perspective was that the number of converted Christians is being exaggerated. Another general view was that these kinds of reports in international media would risk the safety of Church in Iran.

However, it was quite obvious that the Muslim religious circles were aware of the growth of Christian faith in Iran. This led to the persecution of church and harassment of newly converted Christians. Then later on in 1992, there were an informal proposal to develop leadership skills in Christians who were dealing with the newly converted Christian population. This proposal led to a report that there are 13300 Iranian Muslim converts all over the world and half of them are living in Iran. Iranianpersonals also confirmed this fact now through a survey conducted among Iranian Christians, which gave a new and amazing number of Christians in Iran.

Well, among Christian circles such reports were either ignored or questioned with suspicion. They were very doubtful of the identity of newly converted Iranian Christians. Even many were unsure if there is actually such a thing like Iranian Christians. But, when Patrick Johnston published a report “operation world”, it was made clear that there are lots of Muslim converts and even many are inclined secretively. This was the time when Christians all around the world actually accepted the existence of Iranian Christians and there remained no questions of suspicion regarding their numbers.

This overnight realization regarding the existence of Muslim converts appeased the Christians but then there was another issue. There was still a question regarding their commitment to Christ. Whether they would stick to Christ or retreat to their old beliefs? Well this came to light eventually when the media belonging to Christian circles as well as secular societies published reports on defenses of a newly converted Iranian Christian, who were being persecuted by Muslim clerics. 

Such reports were considered as very important documents in the history of Christian’s leaders, for it built great wave of trust and incitation for them. Also thereafter, a secular publication in US wrote an article on the real identity of Iranian Christians and their ongoing persecution in Iran. There was also a comparison between persecution of Christians in US and persecution of Christians in Iran. According to that article, persecution of Christians in US was nothing when compared to the sufferings of Christians in Iran.

This whole scenario of newly converted Christians in Iran was a riddle initially. However, with the support of media, it came clear as a bright sun on a clear noon. Iranian Christians were given their identity and many came out open after media reports.

 


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