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Last month, we requested urgent prayer for "Amir," a young Christian man sentenced to death after being caught with a load of Bibles. In Iran, publishing, importing or reprinting Bibles or Christian literature is illegal. We are pleased to report that a judge has rescheduled Amir's August 12th sentencing date. Although the trial has been delayed, the 32-year-old's family remains very concerned. (To read our previous prayer alert about Amir, visit this page.)

Elsewhere in the country, Matthias Haghnejad, a pastor, has been charged with "Moharebeh," meaning "enmity against God." A crime of this nature is potentially punishable by death. Matthias was arrested on July 5th at his home, along with two others. There are fears that this charge may begin a new trend of oppression against all converts to Christianity, including those currently charged with national security crimes. (For more information on Matthias' arrest, go to this page.)

Firstly, let us thank the Lord that Amir's sentencing trial has been postponed. Please join his family and friends in praying that the charges against him will be dropped and he will be free to return home. Similarly, intercede on behalf of Matthias and his friends, asking God to make a way for their acquittal and release from detention. In the meantime, pray that the faith of all these mentioned believers will be strengthened, giving them the courage needed to stand firm despite the threat of death. Also pray that through their testimonies, many other prisoners will hear about Jesus and, as a result, accept His gift of salvation.

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

    ...
  • 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

    ...