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Ramiel Bettamraz Photo: Middle East Concern www.meconcern.org
Ramiel Bet Tamraz
Photo: Middle East Concern

Ramiel Bet Tamraz was arrested along with four converts from Islam when security officials raided a picnic that took place northeast of Tehran on August 26th, 2016. Although the five Christians were interrogated and eventually released, Ramiel and his friend were charged with "acting against national security." Both were released on bail in October 2016.

The case was finally presented in court on June 18th of this year, and the presiding judge delivered his verdict on July 11th. Ramiel and his friend were both sentenced to four months in prison. More than half of the sentence was already served before they were released on bail, but this judgement will now leave them with a criminal record. The conviction is being appealed.

Ramiel is the third member of his family facing charges due to his Christian faith. The young man's father, Victor Bet Tamraz, is presently appealing a ten-year prison sentence for similar charges. And Ramiel's mother, Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, is appealing a five-year sentence for "acting against national security and against the regime by organizing small groups, attending a seminary abroad, and training church leaders and pastors to act as spies."

Ramiel's sister, who is now living in Switzerland, presented her family's needs to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June, calling for assistance on behalf of her loved ones and other Iranian Christians in prison. For more information on the legal challenges facing this family, go to this page.

Please remember this pastoring family as they face ongoing legal challenges. May Iran's courts treat citizens of other faith groups fairly and with due consideration, prompting the release of those who've been imprisoned for their faith. Pray that those patiently awaiting deliverance from jail will stand firm as 'prisoners of Christ' (Ephesians 3:1).