Iran deal: persecuted church 'left behind'

By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press:

"Every concerned citizen should be asking, 'What has changed in Iran's behavior that has led us to believe they can be trusted in a nuclear deal?'" - Johnny Hunt, former Southern Baptist Convention president.

VIENNA (BP) -- The nuclear deal struck by Iran and six world powers led by the United States has drawn criticism from evangelicals for its potential ill effects on Israel and persecuted Christians in the Persian nation.

The American Center for Law and Justice lamented that the deal, which was announced today (July 14) in Vienna following 20 months of negotiations, apparently does not include the release of American pastor Saeed Abedini from an Iranian prison.

Johnny Hunt, a former Southern Baptist Convention president who has led First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., to do extensive mission work in Iran, said the Obama administration's willingness to negotiate with Iranian leaders likely encourages the regime to continue persecuting Christians and threatening Israel.

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