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Mahmood Matin
Mahmood Matin-Azad
Photo from
Compass Direct

More details have come to light regarding the situation facing 15 Muslim converts to Christianity who were arrested on suspicion of "apostasy" while meeting together in a park in the city of Shiraz on May 15 (click here for more details), according to a July 9 report from Compass Direct.

Thirteen of those arrested were released in the following days but two believers, Mahmood Matin-Azad (52) and Arash Basirat (44), remain detained in a secret local police centre. On June 24, Matin-Azad's wife was able to visit her husband under close watch from authorities. Matin told her that authorities were "pushing" him to say that he was connected to a church outside the country which paid his salary. He refused to do so, however, and maintained that he was supporting his own ministry. It was the first and only contact that a family member has had with him since his arrest.

The released believers are under house arrest and authorities have called them in several times to question them about their alleged political activity and Christian faith. Officials have informed them that there is an ongoing case against them but have not told them of the specific charges. The nature of the questioning, however, suggests that they are suspected of apostasy and crimes against the government.

Pray that no charges will be brought against these believers. Pray that the two detained believers will be released. Pray that Iran's government will uphold the rights of Christians to worship God freely.

For more information on the persecution of Christians in Iran, go to the Iran Country Report.

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


85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

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

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

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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