Three Christians granted release on bail

Family and friends of three Christians from Azerbaijan and an Iranian Christian are pleased to report that they have been permitted to leave prison on bail.

Middle East Concern report that ‘the three Azerbaijani men, all from Baku, were allowed to travel back home on 6 November.’[1]  Many people have been praying and writing to the Iranian authorities on behalf of the men and so it is encouraging to see this result.

Eldar Gurbanov , Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov were arrested on 24 June when security officials raided a wedding party they were attending. ‘Seven others were also arrested, most of whom were quickly released. However Eldar, Yusif, Bahram and Iranian Christian convert, Naser, were taken to Evin Prison for interrogation.’[2]

Subsequently, the four men were kept in solitary confinement for two months and interrogated. Their whereabouts were not made known, to the concern of family members. They were refused access to any legal support during this initial period of their detention.

In September, the men were transferred out of solitary confinement to shared cells in Ward 350 in Evin Prison, much to their mutual encouragement. They faced charges of engaging in missionary activity and propaganda against the regime, but it is hoped that they will be acquitted of these charges.

Finally, on 29 October they were released on bail.’[3]

Let’s give thanks to God for answered prayer and pray for continued strength for the men and their families.   Eldar, Yusif and Bahram are all married and have children. Yusif has a young son with Down’s Syndrome.  Continue to pray that they would be aware of God’s presence very close and that they would receive any necessary emotional and spiritual support required after the trauma and pray that the men would be acquitted of the charges.

 

[1] www.meconcern.org

[2] www.opendoors.org.uk

[3] www.opendoors.org.uk


Over 200 Iranian Christians Baptised

Recently, more than 200 Iranians and Afghans were baptised in a location just outside Iran and the service was attended by people from eight different Persian-speaking churches. During their baptism the believers shared testimonies as to how Jesus had changed their lives.

‘One man said he had been suicidal, but Jesus intervened and brought him new hope.’

‘Another new believer shared: “I never thought I would find freedom from my past, but Jesus has set me free.’

The church in Iran has been growing mightily in recent times. Twenty years ago, everyone thought there were 2,000-5,000 believers in Iran and now the conservative estimate is 300,000 to 400,000 Muslim-background believers, with others saying that the number could be as high as one million.’

Certain factors have spurring the growth of the church in Iran. There is disillusionment with the Iranian regime and with Islam and life has not improved in the last few years, particularly with the sanctions. People are also disillusioned by violence carried out in the name of Islam.” Iranians are spiritual people and are hungering for the truth and when they hear of Jesus they are intrigued and eager to learn more.

Let’s give thanks to God who is continuing to build his church even amidst fierce persecution.