In 2015 a group of Christian converts were arrested in Busheher city, a port in southwest Iran. A case has recently been opened again regarding twelve who have been arrested for forming house churches.
Amongst those arrested were Shapur Jozi and his wife Parastoo Zariftash accused of promoting propaganda against the Iranian Regime. Their case is currently under review, please pray for them during this difficult time.
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has been detained in Evin prison following a violent raid on his home in Rasht by police on 22nd July. Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported that ‘police smashed the front door, punched the pastor and his teenaged son Daniel, and used electrical batons on them despite the fact that they were offering no resistance’.
The pastor was at home on bail awaiting a summons to return to prison following the failure in May of an appeal against his conviction and that of four fellow church members.
Pray that God would protect and strengthen them and their families and that the Government would be led to protect the freedom of religion to Christians: ‘This is my comfort in my affliction. For your word has given me life’ Ps 119v50.’
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has reported that Mohammadali Yassaghi an Iranian Christian was released from prison on 25th June. The verdict was delivered at a court hearing where the presiding judge dismissed the charges against him.
Mohammadali was arrested on 10th April 2018: the ’52-year-old father of three was accused of spreading propaganda against the establishment’.
Ten year sentences which were handed down to Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie in July 2017 have been upheld upon appeal. They were charged with acting against national security.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide have reported this update and we pray that God would strengthen them and in his time would enable them to be released: But I have trusted in your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
An Iranian Christian convert named Hadi Asgari aged forty who was convicted of acting against national security ‘through evangelism and sentenced to ten years imprisonment and a two-year ban from departing the country’ has been denied bail.
His family worked tirelessly to attempt to enable him to be released for Persian New Year, but this was denied, and officials decided to review his case after the New Year.
Pray that he and his family would know God’s presence and strength at this difficult time. ‘Even though I am afflicted and needy. Still the Lord takes thought and is mindful of me’.
A Christian prisoner named Naser Navard Goltapeh was arrested in 2016 with three Azerbaijani believers and sentenced to ten years imprisonment for ‘acting against national security and establishing house churches.’ His family are concerned about his health and believes he needs urgent medical treatment for an infection.
His appeal was rejected in court in November 2017. Please pray that God would strengthen him and the other prisoners and that in God’s time they would be released and enabled to receive medical treatment.
Please pray for Victor Bet-Tamraz, Amin Afshar-Naderi, Kaviyan Fallah-Mohammadi and Hadi Asgari who were all given heavy jail sentences last year in Iran for offences connected to ‘evangelism and acting against national security.’
Records highlight that between May and November 2017, twenty one Christians were sentenced in Iran for extensive periods of time.
In addition, four Christians were arrested in October in south west Iran. One remains in custody and has been transferred to a prison around ninety miles away.
Please pray for strength and ultimately for their release and that God would be their sustaining strength: for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s Word is not chained’.
Four imprisoned Christians in Iran have appealed their sentences in Tehran. These men are named Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaje. They are appealing a ten year sentence given to each for promoting house churches.
In addition to this ‘Yousef and Mohammadreza have also been sentenced to 2 years’ exile; Yousef in Nik Shahr and Mohammadreza in Borazjan’
Please pray that the sentencing would be acquitted and these four men would be released. Pray for freedom of worship for believers in Iran and that even officials may come to know Christ also.
An appeal by Pastor Bahrom Holmatov against his three-year prison sentence has been rejected. The pastor and father of three was’ arrested in April and later sentenced for ‘singing extremist songs in church and so inciting religious hatred’. He now faces the three-year prison term for nothing more than exercising his right to believe.’
“Don’t worry about me, please. Just keep praying for me and my family,” declared Pastor Bahrom.
Pray that he would be strengthened in his faith and he would remain physically strong.
Pray that he would be a great witness to the truth of Christ during his imprisonment.
After four years of imprisonment relating to charges of acting against national security, Maryam Naghash Zargaran has been released from Evin prison. She was released on 1st August.
Maryam, aged thirty nine, a convert from Islam, was ‘first questioned by intelligence officers in January 2010 because of her work with underground churches’. She was arrested in January 2013, alongside Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini, in connection with their work at an orphanage and both were sentenced a few months later.
While in prison Maryam was harassed and consistently denied medical treatment for longstanding medical issues. Maryam received heart surgery ten years ago and requires regular checkups. ‘Amnesty International referenced her case when it accused Iran of ‘cruel’ denial of medical care in its prisons.’
On seldom occasions Maryam was granted short term release to receive health checkups and was ordered to return soon after. She also endured many hunger strikes while in prison and her health often deteriorated.
Please pray that Maryam will return to full health and continue to remember many Iranian Christians including Amin Afshar Naderi currently out on bail and for Ebrahim Firouzi who is currently on hunger strike while in prison. Pray that they would know courage and strength and would know God’s daily faithfulness: ‘O LORD You have heard the desire of the humble and oppressed: You will strengthen their heart. You will incline your ear to hear’.