Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Iran may be moving to silence Christian media ministries

There's a disconcerting report coming out of Iran.

Evangelist Sammy Tippit says there are reports that "there is some debate taking place within the government about those who are preaching through the television and various forms of media, that they would be targets of the government if they continue to see people come to Christ. [That's] basically what we're doing," reports MNN.

The media is currently accountable to Islamic Law and heavily censored by the ruling religious clerics. Conservative Iranians feel the press cannot criticize government leaders who are also religious leaders, and other religious tenants must be upheld in social, cultural, and political arenas.

There is very little known about what is happening, other than the fact that Iran's religious leader recently blocked the parliament's debate and vote on a bill which aimed "to ease the current stringent restrictions on the press."

Tippit says the report they received indicated the new concern is a separate discussion from the apostasy law. "What you have, basically, is ministries like ours, broadcasting into the country, trying to feed the sheep, trying to help those who are believers to grow in their faith in Christ, and this has become a point of contention."

It's one more step toward the repression of Christians. On September 9, Iran's parliament voted in favor of a draft law that would mandate the death penalty for those convicted of apostasy. That discussion began in February, when the Iranian parliament introduced the draft penal code that strengthened the penalty for apostasy.

The media issue is still in it's early stages, and that's why Tippit says NOW is the time to act.

"We just need to pray that the church would be strengthened within the country, that they would be able to stand faithful to the Lord during these days. And then secondly, we need to pray that God would intervene in this situation among those who are in the debate about what will take place and what the future of the country will be."
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(Source: CN)

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