These are very sobering accounts of current martyrs in the last 10-20 years in the modern country of Iran. There is a great work of God in underground house Churches in Iran but the cost to see the Gospel go forward in this closed country is tremendous.
This is an excerpt from the soon to be released free Principles eBook:
On January 19, 1994, Haik disappeared from the streets of Tehran. The authorities reported his death to his family on January 30; he was stabbed 26 times in his chest: “Indeed, Haik gave his heart to Christ twice. Once when he invited Christ to his life as his Savior, and second, when his heart was torn apart for his faith in Christ.”
Martyr Mehdi Dibaj wrote:
“I have always envied those Christians who were martyred for Christ Jesus our Lord. What a privilege to live for our Lord and to die for Him as well. I am filled to overflowing with joy; I am not only satisfied to be in prison but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus Christ.”
Iranians Abbas Amiri and his wife Sakineh Rahnama, who hosted an underground house Church service died from injuries sustained when secret police raided their house Church service and severely beat them to death. Abbas died right away. Before becoming a Christian Abbas had been a devout Muslim even making a pilgrimage to Mecca. His wife died less than a week later. At the house Church service were seven other men, six women and two children.
Martyr Mohammad Ali Jafarzadeh, was executed by hanging in Evin Prison in Iran.
Martyr Mohammad Jaberi was also executed by hanging in Evin Prison in Iran.
Martyr Pastor Ghorbandordi Tourani an Iranian house Church leader was murdered near his house.
Martyr Pastor Mohammed Bajher Yusefi, affectionately known by his flock as Ravanbaksh, or soul giver, was murdered. He had left his house to spend time in prayer, but he never returned. The Iranian authorities notified the family later that evening that his body had been found hanging from a tree in a nearby forest. Pastor Yusefi was survived by his wife, Akhtar, who is also is from a Muslim background, his 7-year-old son Stephen, and his 9-year-old daughter Ramsina.
Recently a brother was arrested and put on trial for his faith in Iran and he shared this exhortation in a letter: “One day there are intense pains after beatings in interrogations, the next day they are nice to you and offer you candy. These hot and colds only make you a man of steel for moving forward in expanding His Kingdom. When for 120 days you are asleep in a room with one big light that is constantly lit and does not separate day or night and when you can only see true sunlight for a few minutes a week, that’s when you are becoming His workmanship and you can be a vessel in bringing His kingdom in a dark place and you are able to share the Gospel of peace and life to the dying world. And this is where you learn you can love your enemies with all of your heart.”
The sadness and hurt of any believer in Christ being martyred is hard to bear. Yet from an eternal mindset and perspective there is a glory and esteem the Iranian believers have for those who have laid down their lives for the cause of Christ. The stories of the martyrs in Iran are many. Above we have mentioned a few.
Such lives are not laid down in vain, but are paving the way for the furtherance of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Tertullian said in his Apology in AD 200: “The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow. The blood of Christians is seed.” This seed is being sown in Iran today and we should expect a vibrant harvest of souls in the coming days before the coming of our Lord.