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Pastor Matthias Haghnejad
Photo: Present Truth Ministries

Three Christian converts -- Mohammad Roghangir, Suroush Saraie and Pastor Matthias Haghnejad -- were arrested on the morning of July 5th by security forces. The believers were seized while at Pastor Matthias's home in Bandar-e Anzali. Agents also confiscated Bibles and other possessions from the pastor's residence. Pastor Matthias has been targeted regularly by the Iranian regime and imprisoned on several other occasions. (To learn more about the trials this pastor has endured, click here.)

Mohammad Roghangir and Suroush Saraie were part of a group of seven Christians who were initially arrested in October of 2012 when security forces raided a prayer meeting. The group was sentenced the following July after being found guilty of "action against the national security" and "propaganda against the order of the system." Mohammad was sentenced to six years' imprisonment, while Suroush received two and a half years. They remained at liberty, pending an appeal, which was subsequently rejected. It is thought the recent arrests of Mohammad and Suroush are related to these previous sentences; although at last report, this was yet to be confirmed as details of their whereabouts remained unclear. (For more information on these charges, please visit our previous report.)

Please pray for Mohammad, Suroush and Pastor Matthias, asking God to grant them His favour and peace. Pray that they will soon be released from detention, while also thanking the Lord for equipping them with devotion and perseverance to follow Him despite the great personal cost. May their loved ones rest in the sure knowledge that God cares very deeply for these apprehended believers. Please also remember in prayer the many other imprisoned Christians in Iran, asking that they will each sense God's assuring presence in a very real and tangible way.

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