The government in Iran has launched a range of efforts to subvert Christianity in its country. Intimidation, jail sentences, harassment, raids, beatings are all used against Christians and Church leaders. In 2012 the government added to its programme of harassment by ordering several churches to stop meeting on Friday, while closing others permanently.
The range of activities against Christians has increased to include attacks on satellite television, internet and other forms of social media used to proclaim Christ and disciples believers. Satellite television stations have reported phone in numbers being attacked by the government, including diverting calls to a government computer simulating the television station and asking people to leave contact details. This provides lists of names for the government to then harass and intimidate.
Websites which purport to be Christian have also been set up. Many of the first sites to come up when a person in Iran googles Christianity are sites owned by the government. It appears they have well trained writers who can write in ways that Christian writers have slowly building up a message that discredits and defames the Christian message.
More recently some of the leading Iranian Christians have found blogs set up in their name, including their photos and in many ways sounding like them. These blogs have postings that attack other Christians and Christian organizations, another government method to attack and seek to discredit the Christian message. This breeds disunity among God’s people, and builds distrust leading to fragmentation of the work of the Kingdom.
Another method being used by the government is to create news services in which false stories of Iranian believers, particularly leaders, are planted among true stories of the world, giving them the feel of being real. The damage of these stories in the short term can be great and efforts to rebuild relationships being broken by this propaganda are long term.
This is a spiritual battle, and needs concerted prayer to fight the spiritual forces that are being unleashed against the message of the Gospel. It has been said that the government is very afraid of Christianity because it is the one form of opposition it has not been able to control. This battle must not be taken lightly, but fought in the full armor of God.