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Behnam Irani
Photo: CSW

Behnam Irani, an imprisoned pastor who has suffered complications as a result of stomach ulcers and intestinal problems, underwent surgery on February 22nd at Shahid Madani Hospital in Karaj. According to our sources, the surgery was successful and the pastor is doing well. (For more information on Behnam, visit our website.)

On March 2nd, a Christian man by the name of Sevada Aghasar, who spent over six months behind bars, was released from Evin Prison. Sevada was arrested in August of 2013. Although he wasn't officially charged, evidence suggests that his arrest was related to his online contact with a number of Farsi-speaking Christians. Also released was Masoud Mirzaei, a Christian convert who had been arrested at the same time.

Finally, an American pastor, Saeed Abedini, was recently transferred from a prison in Tehran to one in Karaj. Most of the prisoners at the Karaj jail are reportedly incarcerated for murder or other serious criminal offences. Pastor Saeed, who is in poor health, is presently serving an eight-year term for his ministry work in Iran among the underground house church movement. (To learn more about Pastor Saeed's case, click here.)

With thanksgiving to God, let us praise Him for providing a way for Pastor Behnam to undergo much-needed surgery. As this pastor now recovers, pray that his health will continue to improve. Pray, too, that his release will soon follow. Similarly, let us thank God for the release of Sevada and Masoud. May they go forward from here with an even greater resolve to share the "Good News" of Jesus. Also remember Pastor Saeed in your prayers...that the Lord will hide and shield him in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 17:8).

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