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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


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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Iran News

  • Retrial Request Denied
    Brother Naser
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Last month, it was reported that the prison sentence for Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was to be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Iran (read more). Naser was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly "acting against national se

  • Prison Sentence to be Reviewed by the Supreme Court
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh - Photo: Middle East Concern
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    On June 24th of 2016, 30 intelligence police agents raided an engagement party near Tehran, Iran. Everyone who attended the celebration was detained, including three visiting Christians from Azerbaijan. Most were released from custody, except for the

  • Prisoner Located and Since Released on Bail
    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 r