Blog note: Jesus indicated that one (of many) signs of the end times or the end of the age of grace would be that love for one another would grow cold. Matthew 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” This can also be interpreted that lawlessness will abound. This includes violence, murder, terrorism, mass shootings, mass knife attacks, car/van attacks, chemical attacks and other similar acts of destructive and evil behavior. Yes, these things have occurred in time past. But consider the frequency, intensity and devastation of these types of attacks and mass school shootings. They are like birth pangs in frequency and intensity. This is just one part of the CONVERGENCE or CONVERGING of signs. Christian Persecution. Jesus indicated that many would hate and persecute Christians because of His name. This has always been the case and is increasing in intensity and frequency.
Psalm 25:19. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
Psalm 38:19. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
Psalm 41:7. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
Psalm 69:4. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
Psalm 69:14. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let mebe delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Matthew 10:22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Mark 13:13. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Luke 6:22. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
Luke 14:26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 19:14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
Luke 21:17. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
John 7:7. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
John 15:18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
John 15:23. He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
End of note.
House-Church Members in Iran Reportedly Sentenced to Year in Prison
August 17, 2018 (Morning Star News) – A convert from Islam in Iran said he and 11 other Christians were sentenced to a year in prison for “inclination to the land of Christianity” among other charges, according to Mohabat News.
“Interrogations were obviously indicating that they were looking for confession to communications with [those] abroad, especially America, Britain and Israel,” the Christian, identified as Payam Kharaman, told Mohabat, which focuses on human rights abuses in Iran.
Mohabat reported last week that Kharaman and 11 other members of a church in Bushehr, a port city in southwestern Iran, were sentenced to one year in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the system and in favor of Zionist Christianity through holding house meetings, evangelism, and invitation to Christianity and inclination to the land of Christianity.”
Kharaman and the other Christians were jailed for three years following their arrest on April 7, 2015, obtaining bail only last April, according to Mohabat.
Judge Abbas Asgari of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Bushehr issued the sentence earlier this year, saying the accused would be informed last June 20, according to the verdict.
Kharaman told Mohabat News that authorities began pressuring him in early 2012.
“I was repeatedly summoned by the Office of Police Monitor Public Place in Bushehr and interrogated about evangelism and communication with abroad, and I always insisted on the belief in Christianity for myself and not for promotion of Christianity,” he told Mohabat. “Because I had a boutique shop in Bushehr, a number of officers’ family members in the office knew me and informed of heavy sentences against me, and the case which was under investigation by the intelligence office.”
He said he took their statements as empty threats at the time.
On April 7, 2015, three plain-clothes security agents came to his house with a warrant shortly after 8 a.m. and seized his computer, mobile phone, flash drive, CDs, books and pamphlets and a private photo album, he told Mohabat. They took him to the intelligence office of Bushehr and interrogated him all day, he said.
Among those sentenced along with Kharaman was Shapour Jozi and his wife, Parastoo Zariftash.
“In the part of the verdicts issued,” Jozi, also a convert from Islam, told Mohabat, “[it] was hinted that many books and pamphlets, publications, CDs, banners, a lectern painted with a cross for holding prayer and lectures, the Holy Gospel, computer case, the boards painted with signs of Christianity, tablet, mobile phone and statue were discovered, all of which were seized in favor of the government.”
Mansour Borji of advocacy group Article 18 reportedly suspects that security agencies’ inability to stop the spread of Christianity in Iran has led them to try to eliminate Farsi-speaking churches “through unlawful pressures and false accusations in revolutionary courts and seemingly legal routes.”
“The harassment of religious minorities, particularly Christians, has been mandated for the Islamic Republic’s security apparatuses,” he said, according to Mohabat. “Many Iranian Christians have preferred to abandon their homes in the last two decades and leave Iran to avoid the securities and judges.”
Three Christians in Iran were arrested from their homes on July 24-25 following the violent arrest of pastor Yousef Nadarkhani on July 22. Pastor Nadarkhani, a convert from Islam like the others arrested, was awaiting a summons to begin a 10-year prison sentence after his appeal of a conviction for “propagating house churches” and promoting “Zionist Christianity” was upheld in May.
Iran is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to change one’s religion. Additionally, Article 23 of the Iranian Constitution states that “the investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.”
The U.S. State Department has designated Iran as a Country of Particular Concern for severe religious freedom violations, and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom this month recommended it remain on the list.
Iran ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
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Categories: Christian Persecution Update