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Iran - Christian praying, Muslim bowingPolice in the Iranian city of Shiraz cracked down against known Christian converts from Islam, arresting members of three Christian families and confiscating their books and computers, according to a May 21 report from Compass Direct. The arrests reportedly began at approximately 5:00 a.m. on May 11, when two couples were taken into custody before boarding their flights at the Shiraz International Airport and sent directly to jail. All four were subjected to hours of interrogation. The detained Christians were identified as Homayon Shokohie Gholamzadeh (48) and his wife Fariba Nazemiyan Pur (40), and Amir Hussein Bab Anari (25) and his wife Fatemeh Shenasa (25). The report also indicated that although the two wives were released on the same day of their arrest, Anari was detained until May 14, and Gholamzadeh remains jailed.

About two hours after the early morning arrests of May 11, police authorities invaded the home of Hamid Allaedin Hussein (58) arresting him and his three adult children, Fatemah (28), Muhammed Ali (27), and Mojtaba (21). The family's books, CDs, computers and printers were taken as well. Hussein, his daughter and one son were released later the same day, but Mojtaba remains in prison. On May 15, local police picked up two more former Muslims involved in a separate house church in Shiraz as the Christian converts were talking together in a city park. Both men, Mahmood Matin-Azad and a second man, Arash Basirat are still jailed. The Compass report also stated that there were other arrests last month in the northern city of Amol, in Mazandaran province near the Caspian Sea. Two of the arrested converts to Christianity, one a pregnant woman, are still imprisoned with no news of their whereabouts.

Ask God for the release of those who are still in prison for their faith in the Lord (Acts 12:5). Pray that the Islamic government in Iran will allow full rights and protection for Christians in the nation.

For more information on the persecution facing Christians in Iran, click here.

Current Ministry Fund

By funding television broadcasts, VOMC is making it possible for a vast audience of viewers to be reached throughout Iran with the "Good News" of Jesus' love via satellite.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity
Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes

Religion (%)
Islam (99.6), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.2)

Leader
President Ebrahim Raisi (2021)

Government type
Theocratic republic

Legal system
Religious legal system based on secular and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Iran

As the Gospel message goes forth over the airwaves, may the growth of the church continue to multiply despite persecution. Pray that the Iranian government will be open to change, allowing full rights and protection for its non-Muslim citizens as well. In the meantime, may those who are forced to flee the country find safe refuge and help so they can live in peace and worship the Lord with freedom.

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