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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.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information


85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes

Religion (%)
Islam (99.6), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.2)

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

  • Sentences for Detained Christians
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Photo: Article18

    An Iranian-Armenian Christian leader has been sentenced to ten years in prison for promoting "propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam" through the house church he operated in his home. The 60-year-old believer, Anooshavan Avedian, was a

  • Christian Woman Now Facing Two-Year Sentence
    Silhouette of a woman, prison bars

    In July 2021, Fariba Dalir was arrested along with five other Christian converts, including her husband-to-be, Soroush. While awaiting trial, all six believers were ultimately released on bail – Fariba on November 18th and the others in October. While out on bail, Fariba and Soroush were married.

  • Retrial Request Denied
    Brother Naser
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Last month, it was reported that the prison sentence for Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was to be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Iran (read more). Naser was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly "acting against national se

  • Prison Sentence to be Reviewed by the Supreme Court
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh - Photo: Middle East Concern
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    On June 24th of 2016, 30 intelligence police agents raided an engagement party near Tehran, Iran. Everyone who attended the celebration was detained, including three visiting Christians from Azerbaijan. Most were released from custody, except for the