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Photo: Farsi Christian News Network

A pastor who was arrested on December 26th following a raid on his home has been released from incarceration.

Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz had gathered with other believers for a Christmas celebration when security officials arrived and searched his home, confiscating Bibles, mobile phones and identity papers. All those present were arrested, and the majority were released shortly afterwards. However, Pastor Victor and two others, Amin and Kaviyan, were taken to the reputedly notorious Evin Prison. Amin and Kaviyan, both of whom are believers from a Muslim background, were released on bail several weeks ago; while Pastor Victor, of an Assyrian background, was initially refused bail. Thankfully, he was later offered conditional release on March 1st. However, the bail conditions were so high that his family had to submit title deeds to secure his release.

Pastor Victor, who had lost weight while in confinement, reports that he is feeling weak. Other than suffering from a painful tooth infection and some breathing difficulties, he is in reasonable health overall. The released pastor expresses his thanks to all those who have prayed for him, stating that this support was a great source of encouragement. At last report, security officials were keeping his home under observation.

Praise God for the release of Pastor Victor! In addition to experiencing a swift recovery from this difficult ordeal, may the Lord grant him wisdom and clear direction regarding his next steps in ministry service. Also ask that this dear brother will receive adequate legal assistance in the coming weeks and months to cover the court's great demands. Finally, pray that other Christians currently imprisoned in Iran for their faith will similarly be released in the very near future.

For more information on Iran's persecuted church, visit our website.

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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