Posts Tagged: iran

iran

News: AG Pastor Arrested in Iran

Assemblies of God World Missions issued this news yesterday: Security forces in Iran arrested Pastor Robert Asserian yesterday, May 21, after disrupting a morning prayer service in progress at Central Assembly of God in Tehran. Before going to the church, authorities raided Pastor Asserian’s home where they confiscated a computer and several books. They then found Pastor Asserian at the church leading the prayer service, immediately arrested him, and announced the church’s imminent closure. At last report, the pastor’s whereabouts are unknown. “I had the privilege of meeting Pastor Asserian a couple of years ago,” said Dr. George O. Wood,…

Islam in Syria: Life for the Hazara People

The story of the Hazara people group is like that of many persecuted peoples. The Atlantic recently ran a short feature on the plight of the Hazara now residing in war-torn Syria. Read the full story from The Atlantic here. The Hazara are Shia Muslims that trace their ancestry to Asia with one theory being that they descend from Mongol soldiers left behind in Afghanistan by Genghis Khan in the 13th century. They once were the majority in Afghanistan until large numbers were massacred in 1893, and today the Taliban continues to attack them. The largest number of Hazara live in Afghanistan…

Islam in Iran: Claiming to Be the Madhi

The print edition of The Economist for April 27 features a story on the number of men in Iran who have been arrested, claiming “to be the Mahdi, a sacred figure of Shia Islam, who was ‘hidden’ by God just over a millennium ago and will return some time to conquer evil on earth.” The men were called “deviants,” “fortune tellers,” and “petty criminals” as they collected alms from Iranians in the courtyard of the mosque in Jamkaran. Read the full story here. The mosque in Jamkaran has been popularized by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as “the place of the awaited Mahdi’s advent,”…

Islam in Science: Scientific Study Making Comeback

A recent feature in The Economist looked at the renewed interest in science in the Islamic world. While in 2005, the story says, Harvard University produced more scientific papers than 17 Arabic-speaking countries combined, there have only been two Nobel laureates from among the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims — one in chemistry and physics. The story considers that this disparity is due in part to Islam’s hostility toward science and that rote thinking takes precedence over critical thinking. Read the full story here. But there is a change happening, the feature continues. The flow of money for scientific research is increasing in…

Islam in Pakistan: Anti-Shi’ite Violence Could Be Big Problem

Time World recently ran a story about Pakistan’s “newest martyrs,” the minority Shi’ite population, looking at the tension between the various communities of Islam in the country. Read the full story here. The closing paragraph sums it up this way: “If, however, Shi‘ites are not going to feel safe in Pakistan, it will have grave consequences not just for the country but also the wider region. Pakistan’s Shi‘ite population is second only to neighboring Iran, where Shi‘ites are the majority and Shi‘ite Islam is embedded in the heart of the country’s politics. In the long term, it could be the most destabilizing of…

UPDATE: A Letter From Pastor Saeed Abedini

A letter from imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini was recently shared with the U.S. Assemblies of God. In it he writes, “When I heard that empty Christmas settings were placed during Christmas as a reminder of my imprisonment and those imprisoned for Christ, tears of joy filled my eyes. I was able to share about this with other prisoners and they were shocked by the love and support we have for each other in Jesus. I told them how in the Bible we are all considered brothers and sisters (despite race, color, or nationality) and we are to share in…

Islam & Christianity in Iran: Celebrating Christmas

CNN offered a feature this week on Christmas in Iran, a country that is 98 percent Muslim and looking to “cut ties with the United States and the West.” The story highlights how Iranian Muslims embraced the Christian holiday, as they sought, according to Meshkat, a 29-year-old engineer, “any excuse to celebrate and create happy moments and go against the government’s repressive orders.” Read the full story here. While Iran is home to approximately 200,000 Christians, 90 percent of whom are Armenian, the country does still stifle and restrict the spread of religions other than Islam. Even still, Touraj Daryaee,…

A Call to Prayer for Saeed Abedini

An international call to prayer has gone out from Dr. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, for the release of Saeed Abedini, who is imprisoned in Iran for his faith in Christ. In June 2012, Saeed and his wife, Naghmeh, spent time with Dr. Wood and related Saeed’s plans to return to Iran to visit family and continue his humanitarian work in developing a non-sectarian orphanage. He was nearing the end of that visit when he was detained by Iran authorities and imprisoned. During these months of incarceration, Dr. Wood has been in constant contact with…

Islam in Iran: Iran Launches Islamic YouTube, ‘Mehr’

YouTube was banned in Iran in 2009, though many Iranians still use the site by bypassing Internet filters. Iran has now launched its own version of YouTube called Mehr, according to a story by Irish Independent (12/10). This video sharing site is “in full adherence with its strict interpretation of Islam” and is run by state broadcaster IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting). Read more about the hows and whys here.

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