Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Christian Evangelism in the Skies of Iran!
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
(ANS) -- Iranian Christians, and especially Iranian Christian evangelists, are very aware of the risks of any attempt to express their faith.
According to Iranian Christian news agency Mohabat News, a report was published some time ago on a Iranian security website called “Mahdoudeh.” The report was titled “Christian evangelism and removing hijabs in the skies of Iran.”
Mohabat News said the report writer claimed that on an Iranian domestic flight some people noticed books and publications promoting, what they called, “Zionist Christianity.”
Mohabat News said the short report went on to say that a book entitled “Does God truly care about us?” was made available for passengers to read as part of an outreach package. The books were reportedly printed in Italy.
According to Mohabat News, the pro-regime website also said that distribution of evangelical books, especially the Gospels, among Iranian passengers in foreign airports, has noticeably increased since the beginning of this Persian year.
Mohabat News said the anti-Christian report on the website also connected women removing their hijab. (A hijab is a veil which covers the hair and neck. It is worn by Muslim women especially in the presence of unrelated adult males).
In addition, it claimed that some pilots and crew serving on foreign aircraft used by some domestic airlines like T. and others, removed their hijab and paid no attention to people and the flight's security team who asked them to cover themselves.
Mohabat News said “It is clearly evident that by saying T. Airlines the author of the report is pointing to Taban Airlines which is an airline company based in the religious city of Mashhad and owned by pro-government people. Taban Airlines owns four old Russian planes which people sarcastically call ‘Russian coffins,’ and are not interested in flying in them.”
Mohabat News said regarding the claim of the distribution of Christian books and connecting that with women removing their hijab, every Iranian citizen knows that rigid security measures are in place on all domestic and international flights departing from Iran.
On every flight, Mohabat News said, intelligence officers are present who board the plane as passengers and closely monitor all passengers and crew members.
Mohabat News commented, “Therefore the claim cannot be true that Christian evangelists distribute books promoting Christianity or as they have claimed ‘Zionist Christianity.’ It is incomprehensible how they have come to this conclusion and related it to women removing their hijab.”
Mohabat News said “Zionist Christianity” is a term Iranian security authorities use to suppress Christians in Iran. By calling Christians ‘Zionists,’ they aim to label them as Israeli spies.
Mohabat News commented, “However, it seems that the editor in chief and news editors of the pro-regime website have closed their eyes on ‘truth’ and the realities of Iran's society today and want to express their own views and understandings. It is not surprising to see fanatic news writers who only work for money writing hostile reports.”
The Mohabat News story concluded, “Anti-Christianity and anti non-Islamic ideas as well as treating other non-Islamic faiths as lies, is a deeply rooted practice in reports of pro-government journalists.”
|Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, http://www.joyjunction.org He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is "Homeless in the City."
Additional details on "Homeless in the City" are available at http://www.homelessinthecity.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com.
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