The number of Muslim converts who are risking prison or death by secretly worshipping as Christians in Iran’s house church movement has grown to as many as 1 million people, according to watchdog groups.
The London-based Pars Theological Center is training at least 200 Iranian Christians to become the next generation of Iran’s church leaders, the Christian Post reported.
The persecution of Christians has persisted in Iran since the 1979 rise of the country’s theocratic Shiite Muslim government — with Christians facing the threat of death, lashing and torture. About 100 Christians currently remain imprisoned under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s rule.
In 2010, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the country’s underground house churches “threaten the Islamic faith and deceive young Muslims.”