Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, a 65 year old convert from a muslim
background, has been sentenced to three years in prison for insulting ‘Islamic
sacred beliefs’. He also faces charges of acting against
Ismaeil like other
Iranian believers have suffered repeated harassment from the government and
wider society. About ten years ago
Ismaeil was attacked and narrowly survived.
Please pray for Ismaeil
and his family that they would know God’s comfort and help at this time and
that these charges against him would be dropped: ‘God is our refuge and
strength, a very present help in trouble’.
In Iran it seems there is a ‘forced exodus of Christians as the government acts to exterminate the Persian speaking church.’
Officials aim to
eradicate Christianity from the land by arresting house church leaders who are
involved in teaching and evangelism.
Reports have shown that often ‘when a muslim is baptised as a Christian
they can spend up to a year in prison while the person conducting the baptism
can face up to five years imprisonment.’
Many believers have
sought asylum in the West but have frequently been refused. In spite of this, Christianity is growing.
It is encouraging that
many are coming to faith in Christ in Iran and believers would value prayers
for protection as many house churches are under threat of attack by the authorities.
Many were detained late
last year and have not yet been released.
Pray especially for a man called Sina Moloudian, aged 26, who was
arrested in Esfahan in Iran in January in front of his parents. Officials confiscated his Christian materials
and allegedly beat him before placing him in custody’.
Also an older man named
Ishmaeil Maghrebinejad aged 64 was arrested in Shiraz in Iran in January and
released on bail. ‘Officials confiscated
his phone and laptop. He has already
survived a previous attempt on his life’.
Please pray for God’s
strength and protection for imprisoned believers and their families. Pray also for wisdom for believers who have
been released and are unable to meet with other fellow believers.
Christian sisters named Shima and Shokoufeh Zanganeh were temporarily released
on bail from prison in Ahvaz. They
remain free until their trial begins.
officials raided their home and confiscated ‘Bibles and other Christian
material saved on memory sticks’.
number of Christians have recently been arrested in Iran. Please pray that they would know God’s
strength and protection and also for their families.
An Iranian Christian named Jamshid Derakhshan who had been arrested on November 30th 2018 in Karaj has been ‘temporarily released on bail since December 16th 2018’. He had been arrested during a house search while a church gathering were meeting in his home. He has had a difficult time as a believer. He came to Christ over thirty years ago and has since been summoned to court three times and fired from his job as an aviation officer. Please pray for him and for other believers like him who face tremendous persecution that they would know Christ’s comfort and remain steadfast, ‘…The Lord is on my side I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ Ps 118v6
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’.