Thirteen Christians were arrested in the city of Varamin, south east of Tehran.
Zari Shah Khasti (Poorkaveh), Simmin, Bahram, Amin, Leyla, Zahra, Mehdi, Farzaneh, Shayan, Sara, Nazanin, Elnaz and Mohammad Shah Khasti were arrested by agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence following a raid on a house church. Most of the group were previously members of the Emmanuel Protestant Church in Tehran, which was forced to close by Iranian authorities in 2012 and to end its Farsi (Persian) language services.
Another member of the church who was not at the gathering was arrested at his home in Tehran during the early hours of 2 November. Since their arrests the group’s whereabouts are unknown and family members are concerned about their safety.
There has been no improvement in human rights under Rouhani’s presidency, despite his reputation as a moderate. Instead, Iran has witnessed a deterioration in the human rights climate since his election to office. Political opponents, journalists, activists and members of religious minorities continue to be imprisoned, with converts to Christianity and members of the Baha’i faith being targeted particularly.
Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide
- Pray this group of believers and their families will be comforted and strengthened by the Holy Spirit as they endure this difficult trial. Pray for their release.
- Pray that God will provide opportunities for them to clearly share the Gospel with prisoners and authorities (Colossians 4:2-3).
- Pray this latest round of arrests may be used by the Lord to spur on Iranian Christians in the faith; ask the Lord to continue to strengthen His church in this nation in spite of man’s efforts to suppress it.