Anti-Christian statements said to reflect leaders’ dismay with house church growth.
. Increased public statements against Christianity in Iran have intensified pressures on Christians, but at their
core they reflect Islamic regim's leaders’ dismay with the growth of house churches.
Iran's Islamic fundamentalist regime's Ayatollah "Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi " says ‘We have to end the Christian movement,’ he said a few weeks ago.
In May Yazdi said authorities have not done enough to quench the growth of Christian house churches, considering the “massive funding” the government has spent toward that end. Yazdi made his statement in a meeting with the heads of the Islamic Propagation Center of Qom. His statement was originally publicized on the Iranian Student News Agency website.
Given the “the growth of Christianity in some of the provinces, the actions taken by the government and the judicial authorities, and the massive funding of such programs, the desired results have not been achieved, and this is partly due to the undisciplined attitude and lack of proper supervision of these programs,” Yazdi reportedly said.
Yazdi suggested that the government set up a central system to monitor and coordinate the suppression of churches.
A faculty member of Mehdi Seminary in Qom claimed that “the enemies of Islam” are providing US$50,000 a year to some house churches. The general director of comparative religious studies, regim's Hojatoleslam Tarashioon, was speaking at the seminary in Qom, the country’s Shiite center and breeding ground for regim's Islamic clerics and leaders.
“This cult in recent years has become active, and today they work under the pretext of cultural and educational centers and have expanded their activities in several provinces,” Tarashioon said.
Islamic regim's leaders also publicly attacked the country’s underground house church movement last fall. In October, Khamenei said Iran’s enemies wanted to shake the country’s religious and societal values through the spread of Baha’ism and a network of Christian house churches.
Experts believe these public attacks on Christians, and particularly Khamenei’s, resulted in authorities arresting over 120 Iranian Christians between December and January. Most of those detained were converts