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Rokhsareh (Mahrokh) Ghanbari - Photo: Middle East Concern http://meconcern.org
Rokhsareh (Mahrokh) Ghanbari
Photo: Middle East Concern

In the endeavour to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, Iranian authorities released thousands of prisoners in mid-March to stop the spread within the country's prisons. It was noted, however, that many Christians detained for their faith were not included. We are pleased to report, however, that two Christian prisoners have gained their freedom.

Rokhsareh (Mahrokh) Ghanbari, who was initially charged in December 2018, appeared in court on July 27th of the following year for alleged "propaganda against the system." (To review a previously posted report, go to this page.) In October 2019, she was sentenced to one year in prison. We are thankful that although Mahrokh was granted temporary release on March 2nd, prison officials informed her on April 2nd that she no longer needs to return.

In March 2019, Amin Khaki was sentenced to 14 months in prison for alleged propaganda against the regime. While Amin was also temporarily released on March 2nd due to COVID-19 concerns, he received notification on April 6th that he would not have to return to prison.

Both Mahrokh and Amin were required to pay a $3,000 USD security deposit when released in March. However, it is expected that this money will be returned to them. For more on the persecution of Christians in Iran, visit our country report.

Praise God for the recent release of these two believers! Remember them in your prayers as they readjust to life outside of prison in the midst of these unprecedented times. Pray for the various Gospel outreaches that are going into Iran, whether they be conducted through satellite television broadcasts, ministries available via the Internet, or other forms of evangelism. As a result, may multitudes place their hope and confidence in the Risen Saviour.

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


85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

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

Religion (%)
Islam (99.4), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.3)

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

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    Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern
    Ayoub Poor-Rezazade
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    In the Persecution & Prayer Alert that VOMC published on September 30th, it was reported that three Christians had been arrested while attending a prayer meeting in Rasht, Iran, on September 5th. The report had mentioned that two of the believers were r

  • Arrests of Christian Converts During Prayer Meeting
    Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ahmad Sarparast, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern www.meconcern.org
    Morteza, Ahmad and Ayoub
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Three Christian converts were arrested while attending a prayer meeting in the Iranian coastal city of Rasht on September 5th. Intelligence agents raided the meeting and took Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade and Ahmad Sarparast for interro

  • Proposed Law Leads to Concerns
    Underground house church - Photo: VOM USA
    Pray for creative solutions as Iranian believers spread the Gospel.
    Photo: VOM USA

    Finding encouragement in the Christian faith can be especially difficult in a country like Iran, where tight government controls prevent followers of Christ from meeting together. In recent years, modern technology cr

  • Presidential Election Brings Concerns
    Ebrahim Raisi
    President Ebrahim Raisi
    Photo: Mehr News Agency (cc)

    The recent election of Ebrahim Raisi as president of Iran has led to concerns for those monitoring religious freedom in the country. The election has been discredited by many since reformers or moderates were banned from running for the position