Persecuted Christians in Iran are enduring a new wave of government crackdowns.
According to International Christian Concern, there's been an uptick in persecution as the evangelical movement gains ground, causing the Iranian government to feel threatened.
ICC's William Stark says the last few months have been very difficult for Christians – especially in house churches – as the Islamic Republic pushes back.
"And the more people that are actually joining the house church movement or even Muslims who are converting to Christianity, that in and of itself is quite destabilizing for the government, which is based on an Islamic republic,” he says.
“So they're trying to find a way to kind of push back against this movement that they see growing in their own country – and the way they're doing that is increasing the number of arrests and actually drawing public attention to those things."
They aren't attempting to hide the persecution of Christians, he continues, but rather are using it as a warning to intimidate others.
“They want to make an example of these people to create fear within their own community,” Stark says. “That way people stay away from the house movement all together.”
Starks says Iran is currently ranked in the top 10 of the worst persecutors of Christians around the world.