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Mojtaba Hosseini, Mohammad-Reza Partoei
(Kourosh), Vahid Hakkani, Homayoun
Shokouhi and his wife, Fariba Nazemian
Photo: Mohabat News

There has been an alarming upsurge in the harassment of Christians in Iran, with reports indicating an increase in arrests during recent weeks. Three hundred Christians have reportedly been arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned in the country since 2010.

Seven Christians were detained during a prayer meeting when security services raided a house in the city of Shiraz in Fars Province. At last report, Mohammad (Vahid) Roghangir, Suroush Saraie, Roxana Forughi, Eskandar Rezaie, Bijan Haghighi, Mehdi Ameruni, and Shahin Lahooti were being held in a detention centre operated by the Intelligence Ministry.

Five other Christians, who were detained in Adel-Abad prison eight months ago following a raid on a house church in Shiraz, faced trial on October 15. Mojtaba Hosseini, Mohammad-Reza Partoei (Kourosh), Vahid Hakkani, Homayoun Shokouhi and his wife, Fariba Nazemian, were charged with creating illegal groups, participating in a house church service, propagation against the Islamic regime, and defaming Islamic holy figures through Christian evangelizing.

Meanwhile, a well-known Christian artist in Iran has been temporarily released from prison and now awaits trial. Vahid Zarday, a Christian convert and awarded music composer, was arrested during a gathering in a house church with his wife and other Christians. He was transferred to Vakil-Abad prison immediately after his arrest -- a prison known for overcrowding, poor hygiene, prisoner humiliation, and group executions.

Please pray that those arrested and facing trial will remember the blessing they will receive for persevering (Hebrews 10:36). Please pray for the release of those imprisoned. Pray that, whether imprisoned or free, they and other believers in Iran will seek to live boldly for Christ and share the Good News with others.

For more on Iran's persecuted Church, go to the Iran Country Report.