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Farshid Fathi, among others,
remain imprisoned in Iran.
Photo: Present Truth Ministries

Fariborz Azram, a believer from a Muslim background, was released on April 11 after six months in detention on account of his faith. He was arrested during a raid on his home on October 17, 2011. For most of his time in prison he was denied visitors and little information about his condition was disclosed to his wife and two children. It remains unclear whether he was released unconditionally or whether bail was paid pending formal charges and a court hearing.

Elsewhere, more than 20 believers remain detained across Iran because of their Christian faith or activities. Following a series of raids in February and early March, five believers remain detained in Shiraz, three in Kermanshah, and at least seven in Isfahan. Among others detained are some who have been held for more than a year, including Noorallah Qabitizade, who was arrested in December 2010, and Youcef Nadarkhani who has been detained since October 2009 and remains under a death sentence (for more on Youcef, click here). After a year of being held without charge, Farshid Fathi was sentenced in April to six years in prison. Farshid’s attorney is reportedly planning to appeal the ruling (for more on his case, click here). Meanwhile, Behnam Irani, who is serving a sentence in Karaj since May 2011, is reported to be in ill health and suffering abuse from fellow prisoners (for more, click here).

Praise God that Fariborz has been released and returned to his family! Pray that he will be protected from further threats and harassment. Ask the Lord to help him to overcome this ordeal and to remain strong in his faith. Pray for the release of Noorallah, Farshid, Youcef and Behnam. Pray that, like Paul, their imprisonment will result in the advancement of God's kingdom (Philippians 1:12-14).

For more information about Iran's persecuted Church, 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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