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World News

Iranian Christians grow fearful as tensions with US rise

by Heather Preston

Christians in Iran are fearful as tensions continue to grow between Iran and America.

It's reported Iran's considering 13 so-called "revenge scenarios" in retaliation for a US airstrike which killed a top Iranian commander that the Iranian foreign minister's called an "act of state terrorism".

222 ministries works with churches in Iran. Speaking to Premier, President Lazarus Yeghnazar said many Christians feel unable to leave their homes for fear of violence.

"They are under self-imposed house arrest, they don't come out. They're afraid. They don't want to be siding with what is happening."

Meanwhile, reports in Iran say 56 people died in a stampede at a funeral procession for the assassinated commander.

It's not clear what caused it - but the burial had to be postponed for several hours.

Lazarus says many in the region who condone the country's regime have rallied together against the West and its actions, resulting in Christians feeling more vulnerable to attack.

"They have been a minority, they have been persecuted. They suffered a lot. And now this doom and gloom, befalling on Iran and the possibility of war is making Iranian Christians really worried and concerned. 

He added: "All they do is pray and they need Christians all over the world to pray for them.

On Tuesday, the prime minister chaired a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss how tensions between the two nations can be de-escalated.

Yeghnazar is encouraging Western powers to be cautious in the actions they taking moving forward in order to not "inflame and accelerate" the conflict. He fears millions of Christians will suffer if Iran is antagonised further.

"We don't have any control over it. It is going to be a disaster. There is an inevitability of a war unless God intervenes, unless there is a total change within the country of Iran.

Yeghnazar is encouraging Christians to pray for a "change of heart" from Iran and the Ayatollah.

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