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Evin prison in Iran
Photo: Flickr / sabzphoto

Iranian Christians are requesting prayer for their country following a series of arrests that took place about the time the government released some prisoners in an effort to appear more liberal. At least 20 Christians, mainly from Muslim backgrounds, were detained in Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan and Tabriz. As a sign of being politically progressive, the government of newly appointed President Hassan Rouhani pardoned and then released 11 prisoners of conscience on September 20th.

The next day, the family of imprisoned Pastor Behnam Irani went to meet with a judge in Karaj, Iran, asking for pardon to be granted and thus his release from prison, as was done for the other prisoners of conscience. Unfortunately, the judge denied this request, stating that Pastor Behnam had to complete his six-year term. The family members were then told that the only way the imprisoned pastor would be pardoned and released prior to this term was if he repented and returned to Islam. To learn more about his situation, please review this story.

Thank the Lord for the recent release of the 11 prisoners. May He protect and sustain those who remain in jail, especially Pastor Behnam who is suffering from poor health. Praise God for the growth of the church in Iran despite the many challenges. Ask that He will use these incidents of persecution to further spread the Gospel and strengthen the faith of His children. Also, in accordance to Scripture, pray for the Lord to work through President Hassan Rouhani and all those in authority so there will be peace in the land.

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

Designation
Persecuted

Population
85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

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

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

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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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

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  • 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

    ...