Iranian Christians have requested our prayers following a spate of arrests of Christians during Christmas celebrations.
On 25 December security officials raided a house in Roudehen – a city to the west of Tehran. They arrested nine Christians, named as Mehdi Kiyan, Ali Sadreddine, Mohammad Kazemi, Azin Foroodi, Mohammad-Hossein Moridian, Maryam Narimani, Alireza Naseri, Br Matin and an unidentified person. These people were taken to an unknown location, presumably for interrogation.
On 26 December security officials raided the house of Pastor Victor Bet-Tamarz, a prominent Assyrian Christian who used to serve in the leadership of Shahr-Ara Pentecostal Church in Tehran. They conducted body searches and confiscated Bibles, mobile phones and identity papers belonging to people who were attending a Christmas celebration. They detained all present, about 15 people, but most were later released with the warning that they may be summoned for further investigation. However, Pastor Victor was taken to Evin Prison in Tehran.
Another Christian present at the Christmas celebration, known as Amin, was taken back to his house, which was then searched. He also remains detained.
Prayer is also requested for Farshid Fathi, imprisoned in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. Since 2010 he is serving a 6 year sentence.
On 29 December 2014, Farshid was taken to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran where Judge Salavati issued him an additional one year sentence. The sentence was handed down in regard to the discovery of alcohol in a ward in Evin Prison, which led to an internationally controversial raid on the prison on 18 April 2014. Even though the alcohol was found in an adjacent ward, prison guards attributed it to Farshid and hence the additional 1 year sentence.
Source: Middle East Concern
- Pray those arrested will know the Lord’s presence, comfort and support, and that the Lord will guide and protect them during interrogation.
- Pray intimidation of Christians in Iran will not result in fear, but instead, faith will be strengthened and a clear witness maintained.
- Pray Farshid will not become discouraged with the additional sentence; pray that those in prison on account of their faith in Jesus, including Farshid and Pastor Victor, will be released.