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Rev. Wilson Issavi
Photo from FCNN

Rev. Wilson Issavi (65), an Assyrian pastor who was arrested on February 2 and accused of "converting Muslims" (click here for more information), has been released from prison on bail and is awaiting trial. Rev. Issavi was released from Dastgard prison in Isfahan sometime between March 28 and March 30. Along with the accusation of "converting Muslims," the pastor was charged with not co-operating with police, presumably for continuing to hold house meetings after police sealed the Evangelical Church of Kermanshah and ordered him not to reopen it. While in prison, Rev. Issavi was reportedly tortured and threatened with execution. He also allegedly contracted a life-threatening infection from his filthy confinement cell.

Elsewhere, three Christians arrested on December 24, 2009 have been released. Maryam Jalili, Mitra Zahmati, and Farzan Matin were initially arrested along with 12 other Christians at a home in Varamin (click here for more). Maryam, Mitra, and Farzan were freed on March 17, though the terms of their release were unclear at last report. (Sources: Compass Direct, Farsi Christian News Network)

Praise the Lord that these believers have been released from prison. Pray that they will continue to serve Christ boldly. Pray for other Christians in Iran who are imprisoned because of their faith.

To find out more about the persecution Christians face 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

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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