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Farshid Fathi
Photo: FreeFarshid.org

Iranian Christians are rejoicing over a positive development that has taken place regarding the case of prisoner Farshid Fathi, who has been informed that he's due for early release. This young man happened to be among 22 other believers who were arrested in Tehran on December 26th, 2010, as part of a wider wave of arrests. By the end of April 2011, all of them had been released except for Farshid.

In April of 2012, the incarcerated believer was sentenced to six years' imprisonment, charged with "acting against national security through membership of a Christian organization, collection of funds, and propaganda against the Islamic Regime by helping spread Christianity in the country." Following claims by authorities that alcohol had been discovered during a violent raid on Evin Prison, in which Farshid had been physically assaulted by a guard for trying to assist an injured prisoner, an additional year was added to his sentence in April of 2014.

Originally held in Evin Prison, Farshid was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj during August 2014. Prison authorities in Rajai Shahr have recently notified Farshid in writing that he is due for early release this December (rather than December of 2017). More on Farshid's situation is available at this page.

Thank the Lord for answering prayer regarding Farshid's early release which is scheduled to take place at the end of this year. May the Iranian authorities now stand by their commitment. As Farshid completes the duration of this revised term, pray that he will be granted further opportunities to share the Gospel with the prisoners and guards of Rajai Shahr prison. Let us also uphold the many other imprisoned Christians in Iran -- all of whom need to be treated with respect and dignity. May they, too, be strengthened by the Lord and granted soon release.

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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