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Maryam Jalili

Iranian Christians Maryam Jalili and Mitra Rahmati were released from Evin Prison on September 18th, six weeks before their two-and-half-year sentences were due to be completed. The women were among eleven prisoners of conscience selected for release.

Maryam and Mitra, both converts from Islam, were arrested on Christmas Eve in 2009, along with 13 other believers, after a raid by government officials on a house church in Pakdasht (southeast of Tehran). While most of the other church members were released shortly after being arrested, the two women were detained until March 17th, 2010. After their initial release, they were re-arrested in April of 2011 and imprisoned a second time for being members of an "illegal group." More stories highlighting the heroic faith of Iranian Christians can be found
at the Iran Country Report.

During Iran's 2013 presidential campaign, newly elected President Rouhani, viewed as a moderate and pragmatist, promised to uphold the rights of women and religious minorities and permit the release of political prisoners. He also pledged to set up a "civil rights charter" which would ensure equality without discrimination based on race, religion or gender.

While we rejoice with Maryam and Mitra, this update serves as a reminder for us to continue interceding on behalf of fellow Christians in Iran who are still facing tremendous challenges. Pray that the new president will follow through on his promises, bringing about greatly needed change in the way the Iranian government treats those who have been unjustly detained. Please lift up the following incarcerated believers who are among those still awaiting release: Farshid Fathi, Benham Irani, Saeed Abedini and Shahin Lahooti. May the Lord minister ongoing protection, strength and encouragement to them and their families, bringing about ultimate freedom from imprisonment and joyful reconciliation with loved ones.

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. VOMC is also working with partners to provide the Theology of Persecution course in Farsi to train Iranian believers to provide a proper theological perspective and understanding of persecution from a Biblical point of view.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information


85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes

Religion (%)
Islam (99.4), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.3)

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

  • 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

  • Arrests of Christian Converts During Prayer Meeting
    Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ahmad Sarparast, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern www.meconcern.org
    Morteza, Ahmad and Ayoub
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Three Christian converts were arrested while attending a prayer meeting in the Iranian coastal city of Rasht on September 5th. Intelligence agents raided the meeting and took Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade and Ahmad Sarparast for interro

  • Proposed Law Leads to Concerns
    Underground house church - Photo: VOM USA
    Pray for creative solutions as Iranian believers spread the Gospel.
    Photo: VOM USA

    Finding encouragement in the Christian faith can be especially difficult in a country like Iran, where tight government controls prevent followers of Christ from meeting together. In recent years, modern technology cr

  • Presidential Election Brings Concerns
    Ebrahim Raisi
    President Ebrahim Raisi
    Photo: Mehr News Agency (cc)

    The recent election of Ebrahim Raisi as president of Iran has led to concerns for those monitoring religious freedom in the country. The election has been discredited by many since reformers or moderates were banned from running for the position