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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.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information


85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

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

Religion (%)
Islam (99.6), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.2)

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

  • Sentences for Detained Christians
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Photo: Article18

    An Iranian-Armenian Christian leader has been sentenced to ten years in prison for promoting "propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam" through the house church he operated in his home. The 60-year-old believer, Anooshavan Avedian, was a

  • Christian Woman Now Facing Two-Year Sentence
    Silhouette of a woman, prison bars

    In July 2021, Fariba Dalir was arrested along with five other Christian converts, including her husband-to-be, Soroush. While awaiting trial, all six believers were ultimately released on bail – Fariba on November 18th and the others in October. While out on bail, Fariba and Soroush were married.

  • Retrial Request Denied
    Brother Naser
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Last month, it was reported that the prison sentence for Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was to be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Iran (read more). Naser was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly "acting against national se

  • Prison Sentence to be Reviewed by the Supreme Court
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh - Photo: Middle East Concern
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    On June 24th of 2016, 30 intelligence police agents raided an engagement party near Tehran, Iran. Everyone who attended the celebration was detained, including three visiting Christians from Azerbaijan. Most were released from custody, except for the