Intracellular persistence of the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, is an aggravating cause of Chagas' disease, involving that the protozoan infection specifically inhibits death receptor-mediated apoptosis of host cells. Here we demonstrate that the parasite dramatically up-regulates cellular FLICE inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), the only known mammalian inhibitor specific for death receptor signaling, in infected cells by an unusual, posttranscriptional stabilization of the short-lived protein. We also show that c-FLIP is accumulated in T. cruzi-infected mouse heart muscle cells in vivo. Stimulation of death receptor Fas in infected cells induces recruitment of c-FLIP to block the procaspase-8 activation at the most upstream caspase cascade. c-FLIP knock-down with a small interfering RNA significantly restores Fas-mediated apoptosis in infected cells. Taken together, our findings indicate that T. cruzi posttranscriptionally up-regulates and exploits host c-FLIP for the inhibition of death-inducing signal, a mechanism that may allow parasites to persist in host cells.