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Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern
Ayoub Poor-Rezazade
Photo: Middle East Concern

In the Persecution & Prayer Alert that VOMC published on September 30th, it was reported that three Christians had been arrested while attending a prayer meeting in Rasht, Iran, on September 5th. The report had mentioned that two of the believers were released on bail, but family members were unable to locate Ayoub Poor-Rezazade. See this report for more details.

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Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ahmad Sarparast, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern www.meconcern.org
Morteza, Ahmad and Ayoub
Photo: Middle East Concern

Three Christian converts were arrested while attending a prayer meeting in the Iranian coastal city of Rasht on September 5th. Intelligence agents raided the meeting and took Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade and Ahmad Sarparast for interrogation.

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Ebrahim Raisi
President Ebrahim Raisi
Photo: Mehr News Agency (cc)

The recent election of Ebrahim Raisi as president of Iran has led to concerns for those monitoring religious freedom in the country. The election has been discredited by many since reformers or moderates were banned from running for the position and only half of the country's eligible voters cast a ballot. (There were incidents in which various Iranian citizens tried to cast their votes for this year's June election but, while doing so, encountered attacks.) Experts say that President Raisi has been directly appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kahmenei, and is viewed as his intended successor.

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Underground house church - Photo: VOM USA
Pray for creative solutions as Iranian believers spread the Gospel.
Photo: VOM USA

Finding encouragement in the Christian faith can be especially difficult in a country like Iran, where tight government controls prevent followers of Christ from meeting together. In recent years, modern technology created a platform for ministries to reach out with the Good News of Jesus and provide spiritual help to the many believers who often must worship in secret. Yet a newly drafted proposed law now threatens to silence the voices of believers from being expressed via the Internet.

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Sara Admadi and Homayoun Zhaveh Photo: Article18
Sara Admadi and Homayoun Zhaveh
Photo: Article18

Christian converts Homayoun Zhaveh (62) and his wife Sara Admadi (42) were on holidays with friends when they were arrested by Iranian intelligence officials. As a result of their house church activities, Homayoun was sentenced to two years in prison while Sara received a sentence of eight years. At last report, they were awaiting an order to report to prison. More details are available here.