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Iranian convert to Christianity: ‘We opened the door and 20 intelligence agents came in’

This account of the raid on Maryam Rooznahani Peyhani’s church indicates once again indicates how deeply threatened many governments that persecute Christians are by converts to Christianity. In their persecution of Christian converts they manifest a deep insecurity about their own beliefs and tacitly admit that they know how God can transform men’s souls. Authoritarian governments in many regions of the world clamp down on converts to Christianity out of a fear that they will lose their control over their people if there are large-scale conversions to Christianity. The result is the persecution and harassment of converts to Christianity in particular.

Please pray that Almighty God would grant to these four Christians and to all the Christians of Iran the indomitable strength and perseverance in the Faith of the Holy Martyrs.

For previous coverage of Iran, see here.

“‘We opened the door and 20 intelligence agents came in,’” Article 18, March 2, 2021:

Maryam Rooznahani Peyhani fled her home in Iran two years ago today, on the anniversary of the raid on her Tehran house-church.

The 35-year-old convert to Christianity had been interrogated during the March 2018 raid, and had been told to expect a call from the intelligence services at any time.

With this hanging over her, and having seen the pastor of the church detained for two months, on the anniversary of the raid, she fled.

Maryam, who only became a Christian in her late 20s, had been leading a house-church in Karaj, near Tehran, for the past three years. But she also attended the other church in Tehran, where she was learning from the more experienced pastor, and it was here the raid took place.

“We met together every week, and that day we were very unlucky because all the members came,” Maryam explained. “You know, sometimes when you have meetings some of them don’t come, but on that day all of them came.

“And we were always careful not to open the door when someone comes and knocks, but on that day, two of the members went out to buy food, and we were waiting for them. So when we heard the knock, we opened the door, and 20 people came in.”

Maryam says that although she always knew something like this could happen, the intrusion still came as a “shock” and struck fear into the members, with several brought to tears.

The pastor and owner of the building were detained, while Maryam and the other attendees were interrogated and told to expect follow-up calls from the Ministry of Intelligence.

For the next year, Maryam wrestled over whether to remain in Iran or relocate to Turkey to be with her fiancé, Aziz. Eventually, she chose to leave….


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