Islamic militants with suspected ties to Iranian security forces have been terrorizing evangelical Christians with threats to "repent" or die, it was reported Sunday.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has reported that 11 Iranian Christians who fled Iran in the wake of a government campaign against Christianity have received threats via email to "repent" or face extrajudicial execution, from a group identifying itself as the "The Unknown Soldiers of The Hidden Imam."
The threatening emails that were sent to each individual on Sept. 14 aspired to extend the arm of Iranian Islamic militancy beyond the borders of Iran by implying that, although the recipients have left Iran, they have not escaped the "acute eyes of the unknown soldiers."
The emails conclude by offering the 11 Christians "the opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness from the presence of the Hidden Imam," defined as the 12th Imam, the Messiah-figure in Shia theology, and the Great Allah. Otherwise, each individual would be killed according to the Fatwa given by Mehdi the Hidden Imam.
According to CSW, the Rev. Samuel Yeghnazar of Elam Ministries, who has been closely involved in the house church movement in Iran, has indicated that he and his network of churches are taking the threat very seriously.
This threat is similar to the coercion of Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Christian pastor who was tried and found guilty of apostasy in September of 2010 due to the charge that he abandoned his Islamic religion and converted to Christianity.