While Christians are routinely arrested and imprisoned for practicing their faith in Iran, estimates of the number of Christians worshipping in secretly number in the hundreds of thousands and growing
Open Doors USA, a non-profit Christian group that provides support to persecuted Christians living under oppressive regimes, records about 450,000 Christians in Iran. Others place the number closer to a million.
Christians in Iran are forced to keep their religion under wraps. They worship in house churches with a maximum of four to five others. The group must change their meeting place each time they get together.
A push to train Christian leaders has begun by the London-based Pars Theological Centre, which says it currently training 200 Iranian Christians.
“This is not a political movement at all, but it will have political implications because it is touching the core foundations of society,” a spokesperson for Pars stated. If you want to live in a country that doesn’t fund terrorists, you have to develop the values of the grassroots.”
The spokesperson emphasized that the leadership training is not an “anti-Iranian” in nature, but rather a means to “transform the Iranian society from the bottom up.”