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Iranian Christian Maryam Naghash Zargaran -- Photo: World Watch Monitor
Photo: World Watch Monitor

On August 1st, an Iranian convert to Christianity, Maryam Naghash Zargaran, was released from prison. Maryam has served a four-year sentence in the women's ward of Evin Prison in Tehran. She was first imprisoned in July 2013 after being found guilty of "propagating against the Islamic regime, and colluding to undermine national security."

During the time she was detained, Maryam had orchestrated a hunger strike to protest the authority's refusal to allow her medical treatment. While she was allotted hospitalization time on June 6th, she was soon ordered back to court where her requests for medical leave had been denied. More about Maryam's situation is available at this page.

Although now released, Maryam suffers from heart disease, for which she requires regular medical attention. Harsh prison conditions have also resulted in her suffering from depression. While we are grateful for Maryam's release, she needs our ongoing prayers for her health and well-being. May the Lord strengthen and encourage her as she now receives the necessary medical attention and adjusts to life after being released from prison.

Additional Note: Our Iranian brother, Amin Nader Afshar, was recently released on bail. In July of this year, Amin had been sentenced to 15 years in jail; and his co-accused friends, Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz and Hadi Asgari, were both given ten-year sentences. Although Hadi is the only one remaining in jail, we pray that he will also be released on bail, and that the appeals of all three men will be successful. A report providing more details on their arrests may be reviewed here.

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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