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Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz and his wife, Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh - Photo: Farsi Christian News Network www.fcnn.com
Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and his wife,
Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh
Photo: FCNN

In July 2017, Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz was sentenced to ten years in prison. Arrested in 2014 during a Christmas celebration, he was convicted of evangelism, illegal house-church activities and "acting against national security" (read more). In June 2017, his wife Shamiram was also arrested and received a sentence of five years.

Since their conviction, they have faced multiple appeal hearings, only to be notified of their cancellation for various reasons. The couple's latest hearing, scheduled for July 1st, was likewise cancelled. Then on July 19th, Pastor Victor was informed by his lawyer that their final appeal had been rejected. Both Pastor Victor and Shamiram received notification on August 11th that they had five days to turn themselves in to Iran's notorious Evin Prison.

Reports have recently surfaced that the couple fled the country on August 15th, the day before the deadline. Their daughter Dabrina lives in Switzerland and will not disclose their location for safety reasons. However, she assures people that they are "safe and well." The couple regrets having to leave their homeland but, considering the harsh conditions at the Evin Prison, felt it was necessary at their age. They intend to resume their attempts to clear their names from abroad with hopes of returning to Iran if the charges are dropped.

"We continue to pray and hope for their sentences to be dropped," states Dabrina. "We pray for justice -- both for my parents and for all believers suffering in prisons." To learn more about the persecution of Christians in Iran, go to country report.

Praise God that Pastor Victor and Shamiram have found a place of refuge until their case is justly resolved. Pray that efforts to clear their names will be successful. Continue to prayerfully uphold the many Christians presently suffering in Iranian prisons, along with numerous others who are facing oppression and an uncertain future because of their faith in Christ.

Video Report

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

  • Prisoner Located and Since Released on Bail
    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