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IRAN: Christian Convert Unconditionally Released from Prison

IRAN: Christian Convert Unconditionally Released from Prison

Iranian Christians are thankful that Rokhsareh (Mahrokh) Ghanbari has been released from prison.

Mahrokh was convicted of “propaganda against the system” after a hearing at Karaj Revolutionary Court on 27 July 2019 and sentenced to one year in prison. She was initially arrested shortly before Christmas 2018, when three agents from Iranian intelligence raided her home. She was detained for ten days and endured intense interrogation.

Mahrokh started serving her prison sentence at Kachui Prison, Karaj, on 14 October 2019. She was released temporarily as of 2 March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, after providing security. On 2 April prison authorities informed Mahrokh that she was no longer required to return to prison. It is expected that she will be able to reclaim the money put down as security.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in Iran, around 85,000 prisoners have been released, including some Christians. However, Christians convicted on political charges, such as “acting against national security” have been refused release, along with other political prisoners.

Source: Middle East Concern

  • Thank the Lord for Mahrokh’s early release. Pray that her testimony may strengthen other believers.
  • Pray she will be healed from any trauma associated with her detention and adjust well to normal life.
  • Pray for the Christians detained on political charges who face exposure to COVID-19 infection, that they will know God’s protection and consolation and will also be released

Post your prayer in the comments below.

 

INDIA: Former Orissa Prisoners Concerned About Finding Work

INDIA: Former Orissa Prisoners Concerned About Finding Work

Released from prison after more than 10 years of unjust incarceration, two of the men accused of murdering a Hindu leader, don’t know how they will now provide for their families.

Over the course of several months last year, all seven men originally accused of the murder were granted bail by India’s Supreme Court and released from prison. They had been in prison since 2008, when they were accused of killing a Hindu priest and sparking a massive riot that left 120 people dead in Kandhamal district, Odisha (formerly Orissa) state.

Recently, two of the former prisoners, Garnath Chalanseth and Bhaskar Sunamajhi, told a Christian worker they are unsure how they will be able to find jobs and support their families, since many in the area are still angry at them. Bhaskar told the Christian worker that he is afraid to go into the forest because of the risk of being attacked.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Ask the Lord, our provider to supply all seven men with work, to enable them to support their families.
  • Pray these men and their families may be granted favour by the members of their community, so they will be shown care and sympathy, as they deserve.
  • Ask the Lord to bring good from their many years of suffering.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

IRAN: Early Release for Three Christian Converts

IRAN: Early Release for Three Christian Converts

On 18 September 2018, Iranian intelligence agents raided the homes of Asghar, Mohammadreza and AT, arresting them and three others. Asghar was interrogated for three days, being kept blindfolded for most of the time. He was then transferred to Eghlid prison for a further eight days. He was released on bail after submitting a business licence as a guarantee.

Asghar, Mohammadreza and AT were summoned to a court hearing at Branch 101 of Eghlid Criminal Court on 18 April 2019 and charged with propaganda against the Islamic Republic. The judge refused to allow Asghar to speak, warning him he was being monitored and that he would have to agree to stop all Christian activities.

On 16 September 2019 the three men were summoned again to the same court. On 22 September the three were each sentenced to six-months in prison for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran through promoting Zionist Christianity” in accordance with Article 500 of the penal code. The sentences were upheld on appeal.

All three Christians were detained in Eghlid Prison. They applied for a pardon and early release which has been granted after only two months of the six-month sentences. Asghar was freed on 2 February and the other two converts are due for release on 8 February. Asghar’s friend comments that such a pardon would be unlikely to be granted in the larger cities or for those Christians who, as is normally the case, are convicted on political or national security grounds.

Source: Middle East Concern

  • Thank the Lord that these men have been granted early release and will be reunited with their families.
  • Pray their faith in the Lord Jesus will be strengthened through this experience.
  • Thank the Lord that the church in Iran continues to grow rapidly, in spite of opposition.

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NIGERIA: Release of Captured Students and Staff

NIGERIA: Release of Captured Students and Staff

The six students and two staff members of a Christian-run school in Kaduna state who were kidnapped on 3 October were released on 26 October.

Police claimed responsibility for the rescue, stating that they had “intercepted” the students and staff, and rescued them unhurt. Parents of the students, however, insist that the police did not carry out the rescue but that instead a ransom was paid resulting in their release. Police then picked up the victims after they had been set free.

Ohemu Fredrick, a spokesman for the parents, told reporters that the girls and teachers were tortured each time there was a phone call, so that their cries could be audibly heard. Throughout their captivity, they had been fed only rice mixed with palm oil.

Kidnapping for ransom has become a major source of income for terrorist groups that are seeking to advance their Islamic agenda and, in the process, often specifically target Christians.

Sources: Church in Chains, AllAfrica

  • Praise God for the safe release of these eight kidnapped individuals.
  • Pray for their continued emotional and physical recovery from the trauma they experienced in captivity, and that their concerned families will be able to recover as well.
  • Pray the authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice. Pray they will be brought out of darkness, into the light of God’s love and truth.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

IRAN: Ebrahim Firouzi Released from Prison

IRAN: Ebrahim Firouzi Released from Prison

Ebrahim Firouzi was released from Rajaei Shahr prison on 26 October. He will now serve two years’ internal exile in the city of Sarbaz, near the border with Pakistan.

The prison warden wanted to send Ebrahim directly to exile, but he was allowed temporary release to sort out personal affairs, including retrieving personal documents still held by Iranian intelligence.

In August 2013, Ebrahim Firouzi was arrested with two others and taken to Evin prison, Tehran, and later transferred to Rajaei Shahr prison in Karaj. He was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of exile to Sarbaz, on charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”, “launching and directing evangelism” and “running a Christian website”.

After serving the one-year prison sentence and expecting to be released, Ebrahim was retried in March 2015 and convicted of “actions against national security”, “being present at an illegal gathering” and “collusion with foreign entities”. He was sentenced to an additional five years in prison. Sadly, in December 2018, while Ebrahim was still in prison, his mother died from cancer and Ebrahim was not permitted to attend her funeral.

Ebrahim says he is in good health and has been very happy to receive calls from friends. He requests prayer for a friend in prison with urgent needs. He also requests prayer for himself, especially for patience when he becomes angry.

Sources: The Voice of the Martyrs USA, Middle East Concern

  • Thank the Lord for Ebrahim’s release. Pray God will continue to strengthen him as he starts his time in exile. Pray the Lord will provide all his needs.
  • Join with Ebrahim as he prays for his friend and for himself.
  • Pray for the church in Iran. May the Lord continue to grant the believers courage to share their faith, even though there is great risk.

Post your prayer in the comments below.