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A pastor at the Assemblies of God Church of Ahwaz, who had been imprisoned for his faith, has been released. Davoud Alijani (also known as David), was released from Karoon Prison on 13 January, after spending 257 days locked up. He was released with 20 days remaining on his original prison term.

Security authorities had raided a Christmas celebration on 23 December 2011, and arrested Alijani and a number of other members of the Ahwaz Assemblies of God church.

Those arrested were threatened, interrogated, and had their personal information and addresses recorded. Everyone except Pastor Farhad Sabokrouh, his wife Shahnaz Jayzan, and two church ministers, Naser Zamen-Dezfuli and Alijani, were released after a few hours.

The four detainees were charged with converting from Islam to Christianity (apostasy), proselytising Muslims, and working against the Islamic regime through evangelism.

Based on these accusations, the Revolutionary Court of Ahwaz sentenced the four to one year in prison. Sabokrouh and Zamen-Dezfuli were released on 4 December 2013, while Sabokrouh’s wife, Shahnaz Jayzan is still in prison. However, unconfirmed reports indicate that she will be released in the next several days.

The raid on the church was a shock to the Iranian Christian community, since the Assemblies of God Church of Ahwaz is a registered church and operates under the supervision of security authorities.

Sources: Mohabat News, Assist News Service

Prayer Points

  • Thank the Lord for Ps Alijani’s released; pray the Lord will soon grant Shahnaz Jayzan her freedom. Ask Him to help them to overcome their time in prison.
  • Pray their time in prison will be used by the Lord to be witness to the Gospel for other prisoners and prison guards.
  • Pray the Lord will strengthen and sustain other Christians in prison in Iran.

Thank you to all those people who wrote to Ps Alijani while he was in prison. To write to other Christians in prison click here