The families and friends of five Iranian Christians arrested during a picnic and fishing expedition are deeply concerned for their welfare and are requesting prayer.
On Friday 26 August Ramiel Bet Tamraz, Amin Nader Afshar, Hadi Askary, Mohamad Dehnay and Amir Sina Dashti went together with their wives to Firuzkuh, north of Tehran, to go fishing and have a picnic. At about 1:30pm, security officials from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) raided the picnic and separated the men from the women. Amin Nader Afshar asked to see the arrest warrant, which the officials did not produce, and Amin was then beaten.
The MOIS officials took the five men away and family members have been unable to obtain information about their whereabouts.
Ramiel Bet Tamraz is the son of Assyrian Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz who was arrested on 26 December 2014 at a Christmas celebration at his home. Amin Nader Afshar was also arrested at the same time. Pastor Victor was charged verbally with “conducting evangelism,” “illegal house church activities” and “Bible printing and distribution”. He was released on bail on 1 March 2015. Amin had been released on bail in February 2015. They are both expecting to be summoned to court to face charges related to their Christian activity.
Family members see no reason for the arrests apart from the connection to the arrest of Pastor Victor and Amin (and one other) at the Christmas celebration in Pastor Victor’s home in 2014.
It is feared that the aim of the MOIS officials is to force confessions and to extract “evidence” against the victims of the 2014 Christmas arrests.
Source: Middle East Concern
- Pray those detained will know the presence, peace and provision of Jesus, will be able to answer their interrogators with wisdom, and will be released soon.
- Pray they will remain strong in their faith and clear in their witness. Ask the Lord to strengthen them physically and spiritually to help them endure.
- May the family members know the comfort, peace and presence of Jesus during this time.