Iran: Christians issued with harsh prison sentences

Three Iranian Christians including a pastor along with his son have received long term prison sentences for crimes such as ‘organising and creating house churches’, ‘conducting evangelism’, and ‘Bible printing and distribution. Their lawyer will appeal against the court’s decision this week.
Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie are currently awaiting the outcome of an appeal against a sentence of 80 lashes each. They have been accused of acting unlawfully and consumption of alcohol because they drank communion wine. They have appealed against the sentence of 80 lashes and await a final verdict.
According to Middle East Concern, ‘The situation of religious minorities has deteriorated in recent years, including during the tenure of President Hassan Rouhani. Scores of Iranian pastors are languishing in prisons solely for their beliefs.’
Young Iranians Christians face terrible pressure and difficulties. Many can’t even obtain a Bible. Also, it is very difficult to meet with other believers.
‘Iran is currently number eight on the Open Doors 2017 World Watch List of the fifty countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. At least 193 Christians were arrested or imprisoned in Iran in 2016, many of them converts from Islam.’
Please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iran. Pray that the prisoners and families will have strength to endure suffering and courage to press on as believers in Christ. Pray that justice would prevail: ‘God makes a home for the lonely; He leads the prisoners into prosperity’ Psalm 68v6.