Iran Sentences 4 Christians to 45 Years in Prison for Believing in Jesus Christ
- Hello everyone, welcometo Christina World News now.
I'm George Thomas along with
CBNs multimedia producer, Emily Jones.
- Thank you, CWN NOW iswhere we show you how God
is moving all around the world.
Please tell us where you're tuning in from
in the comment section down below.
- Right below.
- 'Cause we are looking.
- Today we're talking aboutone of the leading sponsors
of terrorism in the world,the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- Yeah, it's really hard to imagine.
Can you be the world'sleading sponsor of terrorism,
but at the same time be thecountry where Christianity,
get this, Christianityis growing the fastest.
Did you know that?
Stay tuned, you want tohear more about that,
that's right as Emily said, this week
a top general in Iran's military,
he boasted that the straight of Hormuz
a major shipping channelbetween Oman and Iran
is now under the control of Iran.
Tehran has threatened to takemilitary action in the Gulf
to block oil exports ofother regional countries
in retaliation for allthe crippling sanctions
the United States is slappingIran with these days.
- That's right George,the U.S. says such claims
show Iran's continuedmischief in the Middle East.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis accused
the Islamic Republic ofcreating havoc in the region
and said America's problemis with the Iranian regime
and not with the Iranian people.
- Joining us to discussthis very important country.
Why is it important?
Because Iran will continueto be a major challenge
for this White House administration
to talk about what's going on inside Iran,
the man who knows what is happening,
not just economically,politically, but inside,
with the underground church,is my man Mike Ansari.
He is with the organizationcalled Heart for Iran.
His group, get this, they broadcast
24 hour gospel programmingdirectly into Iran,
and it is making huge spiritualwaves for the kingdom.
Mike it is a pleasure to alwayshave you back on the show.
Listen, the living conditions in Iran
before the sanctions was pretty bad.
It is getting worse right now, isn't it?
- That's right, there arealmost daily demonstrations
across Iran about the weekeconomy, strick Islamic rules,
water shortage, if you would believe that,
really just disputes, local grievances,
which have turned deadly.
The protestors have shouted harsh slogans
against the religiousleaders and their policies.
So you're right, it is avery difficult situation.
- And Mike unemploymentis at 12% right now.
Are there any rumblingsthat the economic woes
could lead to a revolution?
- Well you have to understandthat Iran's currency,
the Rial has lost nearly 80% of it's value
compared to a year ago.
So inside the countryof Iran, many Iranians
know that the politicallyconnected business people
have taken advantage of the crisis
to make themselves rich, and even richer.
The public outcry thismonth increased scrutiny
on to the lives of thechildren of the ruling clergy,
who many suspect of usingtheir privileged positions
to accumulate even more wealth.
Many have fled Iran andnow are living posh lives,
across Europe, U.S., and Canada.
So you're right, the economicwoes are basically simmering,
the situation inside Iranthat may potentially lead
to more serious uprising
and potentially some kind of a revolution.
- Mike the hypocrisy justreeks, because as you said,
Iranians get a chance to seehow their ruling clerics,
their families how theyhave such tremendous wealth,
not just inside thecountry, but as you said,
around the world in Europe and so forth.
Do Iranians, do they feelisolated from the world,
that somehow gosh it feels like
the entire world is against them?
- That's right, well they arefeeling isolated in a way,
because they really don't know what to do.
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran
supported the nuclear agreement initially,
is now under fire, notonly from hardliners,
but also from the majority of Iranians,
middle class Iranians who voted for him.
Now both groups are saying
that his economic policies have failed.
So when you take a look at the situation
where Iranians are dealingwith the situation,
saying we can no longer putour hope in the new president,
because he promised us somuch and he hasn't delivered,
the clergy are stealingthe wealth of the nation,
of the country and sothey're looking to outside.
President Trump has been veryvocal about these policies,
bringing change intoIran, but President Trump
have also been courtingpeople suck as MEK,
the majority of Iran who are not really
the Iranian populousare not really pleased
for them being an alternativeto replace the Ayatollahs.
So there is a sense ofdespair among Iranians
who want to see change, buttheir not really certain
what is going to happen ifthe change does go through.
- Mike with all the economic problems
and the corruption and the hypocrisy,
you mentioned despair, buthow prevalent is despair?
Is it widespread throughout the country?
- Yes, yes, let me give you and example,
a 21 year old student inIran has been sentenced
to seven years in prisonfor just taking part
in a University protest.
Her name is Paris Rafiei,she's an art student
at a University of Tehranand she was convicted of,
and I quote this, "Assemblywith the intention
of acting against national security."
That's a propaganda that is used vastly
against anybody who tries to stand up
and question the Ayatollah and the regime.
So yes, the despair has skyrocketed.
There are gatherings thattheir protest all across Iran
on a daily basis, which unfortunately
is not really covered bythe media outside of Iran.
- Well I know, Mike, at CBNNews we are covering it.
We're talking about the despair.
I want to mention on Facebook,a number of folks are saying
what you are goin to talkabout here in a moment,
"nothing and no one," this is Debbie,
she says, "Nothing or noone could ever put the stop
to the progress and propagationof the Gospel message."
Alice says, "My heart goesout to the Iranian people,
who are suffering,because of their leaders.
I'm happy that they arefinding real freedom
in Jesus Christ."
And Mike, you are and your organization
Mohabat TV Heart For Iranare right in the thick
of what God is doing.
This is the hopeful part of the story.
Yes there is despair as you mention.
People are suffering economically,
but today most of ourviewers don't know this,
Iran today is the fastestcountry in the world
where Christianity is growing,
and the church is exploding,and your organization
and your televisionbroadcast is part and parcel
of that explosive growthof Christianity, right?
- That is correct, Hearts For Iran
has been around for a few years
and we are a partnershipplatform of over 90 ministries.
We apolitical, that meanswe are not political.
We don't have an agenda to go in there
and create a revolution and take over, no.
Our message is one of theBible of the Scripture,
love everyone, and we seeing that Iranians
who are facing so much dissolutionwith their current regime
and with the religion ofIslam and the authorities,
are gravitating naturally and organically
to the message of love thatis being preached by Jesus.
They're looking around andthey're comparing their notes
and they're realizingthat once upon a time
Iran, Old Persia used to bethe cradle of Christianity,
that Christianity was quitestrong in the eastern church,
in their region, and therewas a systematic eradication
of Christianity over the years,over the last few centuries
and they're realizingthat there is a heritage
and there's a legacy ofChristianity back in Old Persia
that people are gravitating towards.
It is a organic uprising of sort
that people are having dreams and visions
that they're saying can youtell us about our ancestors
who were Christians, whowere missionaries to China,
to Japan, to India, toother parts of the world.
We want to find out about that
because the history has beenerased of our role in the world
and they're realizing thatthe message of Christianity,
or Jesus is one of love.
So there is an organic andnatural re emergence of curiosity
of Iranians and thePersians across the region
to the message of Gospel.
We really don't have to bebringing them the Gospel
so much on the air base into Iran,
because people arereadily asking questions
because they're having dreams and visions,
so yes currently Iran is processing over
700 compacts a day form Iranian Muslims
saying can you tell usmore about this Jesus?
And people are coming to know about Jesus.
But yet with all this wonderful news
that is coming from inside Iran,
that simple natural movementof Iranians toward Christianity
is scaring the religious establishment,
Islamic religious establishment,
who is the ruling party in Iran
and they're fellingafraid because they do not
want to see a change.
- Mike we know that ruling establishment
is not friendly toChristians, in fact Iran
is abuses human rights,
it's just horrible toward Christians.
Is Christian persecutiongetting worse there?
- That is correct, it is.
A number of IranianChristians have been sentence
just recently to a combinedtotal of 45 years in prison.
Solely for practicingtheir Christian faith,
including through attendingChristmas gatherings,
and organization house searches.
Now if they are imprisonedthey will be prisoners
of conscience, so it is happened right now
and we ask you to continue to pray
for the Iranian Christiansthat are highly persecuted.
- In case you just missedwhat Mike mentioned,
he said there are four believers right now
in Iran who have been sentenced in total
to 47 years in prison,why, because they believe
in the name of Jesus Christ.
Mike there is an old sayingwithin Christian circles,
it goes something like this,
the blood of the martyrs isthe seed bed of the church,
when the church suffers around the world
whether it's in Afghanistan, in Nigeria,
in China, and is clearlyhappening today in Iran,
the persecution, the arrests, the torture,
somehow God uses thatpunishment, uses the persecution,
the suffering to grow the church.
How is that possible?
Talk about the challenges they face,
that in the midst of the persecution
the church is flourishing and it's almost
like people in Iran say, wedon't mind the persecution.
Sure is it difficult?
Is it difficult for our family?
Are we suffering?
Yes, but they have thiseternal perspective,
that in the midst of the suffering
they know without a shadow of a doubt
that God will redeem theirsuffering for his glory.
- Amen, we are gettingpeople form inside Iran
contacting us not necessarily Christians.
These are Muslims who are calling us
and they're saying whatdoes your Bible say,
if there is an uprising in Iran,
if there is a revolution,what are we supposed to do,
because a lot of peopledon't have a dog in a fight.
All they're doing, is they're suffering.
They don't have enough money to buy goods,
basic goods and feed their children.
They have a very bleak view on the future
of their livelihood and their country,
so they're contactingus and they're saying,
tell us more, we know howour current establishment
and faith is dealing with the situation,
but that's no answer for us.
As Christians what does your Bible say,
what does your beliefsay and we are witnessing
through our ministry to a lot of people
who are just genuinely persecuted,
not because of theirfaith, because of the fact
that they want to exercise basic freedom
that is os lacking in that country.
- Mike how can we pray for the people,
Iran, as we paint this picture
at the midst of the economic challenges?
Look, people are trying to afford milk,
oil, water, bread, the basic essentials,
but at the same time your bringing us
this exclusive stories,these exclusive data
of how God is moving in Iran.
How do we pray for the Iranian people
who are clearly suffering today?
- We do need to prayfor the country of Iran,
and thank you George for asking.
It is our responsibility asa body of Christ to pray.
Now on November the4th, there's going to be
International Day Of Prayer for Iran,
that is going to be heldand we are partnering
with other ministries thathave a vision for Iran,
and heart for Iran to cometogether and just pray for Iran.
So if you would, number one,join us on November the 4th
to pray for the country of Iran,
and then also I would sayAmnesty International,
and article, it's in ourcalling on Iranian authorities,
and to make some changes.
Perhaps as a prayerrequest with your audience,
could go ahead and ask you to join us,
with Amnesty International and article 18
to pray for quashing the convictions
and sentences of the persecuted Christians
that have been targetssolely for peaceful exercise
of their rights, of freedom.
Also pray for the governmentof Iran to stop the harassment.
These arbitrary arrests and the detensions
and imprisonments of the Christians,
including converts in Iran,and also for the government
of Iran to start respectingthe rights of freedom,
of thought, of conscious religious,
including the freedom to have, or adopt,
or change a religious view
or belief according to ones choice.
So we just need to pray for Iran
to go throw a spiritualchange and awakening.
Again, our call is not oneof changing the regime,
that is something that hasto come from the majority,
which are the Muslims, but we are not here
beating a political drum.
We're seeing that people in Iran
through this amazing despair
are coming and encounteringJesus Christ face to face,
and they're saying to us,"Tell us more about Jesus,
because we're finding thewarm message of love."
So let us pray together that every Iranian
will have an encounter withthe Living Lord, Jesus Christ,
and for their life's to be transformed.
That's what we pray.
- Let me just say, that wehave viewers who are joining us
from around the United States,but also from South Africa,
from England, from India, andthat's why we do what we do,
here at CBN New, is to bring you stories
that you are not going to find
on ABC News, CBS, NBC, or CNN.
In the midst of all thepolitical rancor here
in the United States,and whatever challenges
you're facing in your own country,
I hope that these kinds of stories,
these kinds of interviews,this kind of information
will let you know that Godis still on the throne,
and he is moving around the world.
He is moving not just in thepolitical affairs of countries,
but he is moving in your own life's.
Whatever the circumstance you are facing,
imagine these four believers in Iran
will spend the next 47 plusyears in prison for their faith.
If you think you have a problem,
you better think a second time,
but still the God who is concerned
about these four Iraniansis also concerned
about your own very plightand your own situation
and He will rescue you in the process.
So that's why we do whatwe do here at CBN News
is to bring you these kinds of stories
and to do what Mike isabout to do here in moment.
- Mike, will you lead us inprayer for the Iranian people
and the Iranian regime?
- Yes, father we liftup Iran, Iranian people,
Iranian ruling party,and Iranian persecution,
persecuted to father havea face to face encounter
with a God of love, God of mercy.
I just pray Lord that their life's
will be transformed and changed.
Father I pray that althoughthis peels all the challenges
be turned into sacrificial love.
Father I thank you that these days you are
re emerging the lovethat you have shown us
through your son JesusChrist for all of us,
not only for Iranians, but forall people across the world,
across the globe, to knowthat you love us all,
and you want us to love each other.
God in particular welift up these four people
who are persecuted in Iran,
by the names of VictorBet-Tamraz and his wife Shamiran,
Amin Afshar-Naderi, and Hadi Asgari.
Father we pray that these four individuals
would be blanketed by your mercy,
and Lord for them to befreed from imprisonment
and for them to continuepracticing their faith Father.
We thank you thatoutlet's such as CBN News
have come togetherbinging this good message
of your amazing work inthe persecuted regions,
so God we do not have to be in despair,
but we could be joining you in happiness
and in hopes that your still alive
and your doing and amazingjob across the world,
so we give you honor an glory,all of these in your name.
- Amen, Amen, Mike thankyou so much for joining us.
We hope you'll join us again next time.
- My pleasure.
- Well, Emily that is,this is, I'm inspired.
- I'm inspired by what Godis doing around the world.
- Absolutely, makes me so excited,
and I think you summed it up.
Jesus is still on the throne.
- That's right.
- He's moving in Iran and that's
what Christina WorldNews NOW is all about,
showing you how and where Godis moving around the world.
Well that's all for this weeks addition
of Christian World News NOW.
- Okay, until next week, goodbye,
and God bless you, from CBN News.