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Daniel Shahri
Photo from FCNN

A 19-year-old Christian, Daniel Shahri, remains in detention after he was arrested by officers in Isfahan, Iran. On April 11, plain-clothes officers from the Ministry of Information arrived at Daniel's home, pretending they had a letter to deliver. Once the door was opened, the officers stormed inside the house. Discovering that Daniel was not home, the officers confiscated his personal belongings, including his computer, DVD player, DVDs and CDs, cell phone and books. Daniel's sister was then forced to phone him and ask him to come home. When he arrived, the officers arrested him and took him to an unknown location. On April 14, Daniel was finally able to contact his parents, who are both blind and have physical disabilities, and inform them that he was charged with "publishing falsities and insults to the Muslim faith." He also reported that he was being held at Dastgard prison.

On April 14, a house church pastor was arrested following a raid on his home in Karaj where approximately 10 young men newly converted to Christianity had gathered for fellowship and Bible study. Several plain-clothes officers, who introduced themselves as agents from the Ministry of Information, arrested all in attendance and forced them to fill out forms to explain how they became Christians and who baptized them. The young men were told they had attended an illegal meeting and that in the coming days they would be summoned for further questioning by authorities. The pastor, Bahnam Irani, was assaulted and then transported to an undisclosed location. Later that day, officers again entered Bahnam's home and confiscated most of his personal belongings, including pictures, cameras, computers, Bibles, and other Christian literature. Five years ago, Bahnam was arrested and charged with similar crimes and spent more than one month in prison. (Source: Farsi Christian News Network)

Pray for health and safety for Daniel and Bahnam at this time. Pray that they will be released soon and that all charges will be dropped. Pray that increased persecution will result in increased boldness among believers in Iran (Acts 4:29-31).

For more information on persecution in Iran, check out the Iran Country Report.