(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

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.

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 (99.6), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.2)

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.

end

Select a Region

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

    ...