Iranian Gov't Demand Details on Christian Congregations

Friday, May 25, 2012

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

iran-christianTEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- Iranian authorities recently told church leaders to submit the names and National ID numbers of their members, threatening the security of Christian converts.

Under duress, leaders of the Assemblies of God church in Tehran were "asked" to provide personal information on new members by Iranian security officials; being known to the authorities as a Christian, especially a convert, could have a detrimental effect on the employment prospects of non-Muslims in this intolerant Islamic regime.

Assemblies of God has been under surveillance for decades; the Ministry of Intelligence previously demanded the names and personal data of church members 20 years ago, but church leaders refused to comply.

In 2009, the church was banned from holding services on Fridays in Farsi, the Iranian national language, a prohibition that has since been imposed on other congregations in the capital.

Although this continued campaign of harassment has forced Christians out of official churches, many now attend a growing number of hidden house churches that the authorities have been unable to harass.