It is illegal in Iran to share Christianity with Muslims or preach the gospel in Farsi, the indigenous language of Iran. It is also illegal for a Muslim to reject Islam (apostasy). Therefore, Farsi-speaking, Iranian Muslim converts to Christianity must worship in illegal "underground" fellowships.
In a massive crackdown that began on Christmas Day, authorities arrested about 70 Farsi-speaking believers. Most are young converts from Islam. They are being interrogated and coerced. The arrests follow the denial of an appeal for a Muslim convert sentenced to death for leaving Islam.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's death sentence is only being delayed to give intelligence agents more time to convince him to renounce Christ and return to Islam. His wife has been sentenced to life imprisonment. They have two small children.