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Seven Iranian Christians who were arrested on December 26, along with 31 other believers, were recently released from prison on bail. On January 26, two men and a woman were released in Isfahan. Three days later, four women were released from Tehran's notoriously brutal Evin prison. The release of one of the women, Sara Akhaven, involved her family giving up their trade license in exchange for her bail. If authorities decide Sara has broken bail, however, the family's livelihood will be gone. Sadly, the trade license was not valuable enough to secure bail for Sara's sister, Leila, who remains in prison. Some of the original 31 Christians who were arrested have reportedly been released.

The recently released believers reported that they spent over a month in solitary confinement and endured hours of interrogation and torture. It is likely that those who remain detained continue to face the same brutal treatment. Among those who remain in prison is a couple with two children. Although their mother, Maryam, has been able to phone her children from prison, they have not heard from their father, Rasool, in over a month. All of the other prisoners have reportedly been able to call their families, so there is great concern for Rasool's condition.

Thank the Lord for the release of these believers. Pray that they will remain faithful in witnessing about Christ. Pray all imprisoned Christians in Iran will be released. Pray they will be emboldened and equipped by God's grace as they suffer. Pray for Iranian Christians who face extreme pressure and opposition under the government's new policy of "religious cleansing."

To learn more about the suffering of Iranian Christians, go to the Iran Country Report.


21 of the 33 Christians arrested

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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