CBN News International, 9/5/08 [Excerpts]: The idea behind the Iranian revolution was to establish the world's first modern state governed solely by Islamic law....But nearly 30 years [later], the Revolution is faltering and many Iranians are disillusioned.
"The people look around, they see the poverty...the discontent, they're not happy...they have questions. We're doing it the Islamic way, why isn't our country great? So, they are ripe to hear a new way," said Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs.
Less than one half of one percent of the Iranian population is Christian. There were nearly four times as many Christians...before the Islamic Revolution, but many fled the country because of Islamic extremism. Some of those who remain share their faith with Muslims [and] the evangelical house church movement is now growing rapidly.
"The church is exploding in terms of numbers, but...the people are arrested, harassed, persecuted, in some cases beaten severely. It is not an easy pathway," said Nettleton.
President Mamoud Ahmadinejad is so concerned that he has made it his aim to stop the house church movement, declaring: "I will stop Christianity in this country." He's launched an unmerciful crackdown against Iranian house churches. Nettleton says while Ahmadinejad is trying desperately to halt church growth, his crackdown is actually having an opposite effect....
"We see outreach of people traveling to other cities...other parts of the country, and they are planting these little house churches in those cities and in those parts of the country as well," Nettleton said.