// World Watch List


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  • Leader: President Hassan Rouhani
  • Population: 81 million (800,000 Christians)
  • Main Religion: Islam
  • Country fact sheet

The government is committed to expanding the influence of Shia Islam.

Hardliners within the leadership are very anti-Christian, creating severe problems for all groups of believers. House churches for believers from Muslim backgrounds have been raided and leaders given long prison sentences. Consequently, many converts have fled abroad or practise their faith in isolation. Christians from the government-approved historical Armenian and Assyrian Christians who reach out to Muslims have reported discrimination, harassment, physical abuse and imprisonment. At least 52 Christians were arrested last year.

Read more about persecution in Iran

Please Pray 

  • That the power of God will give extra strength and resilience to believers who have been disowned by their Muslim families
  • Ask the Lord to stir government leaders to change strict laws, allowing for freedom of religion
  • That the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, will give Christians in prison a genuine love for their guards and fellow prisoners.

How Open Doors helps

Open Doors supports the church in the Middle East through the following activities:

  • Bible and Christian literature distribution
  • Training (eg discipleship training, trauma training)
  • Supporting Christian multimedia initiatives for the region
  • Advocacy.