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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.