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Sam Khosravi, Maryam Falahi, and child

An Iranian court has ruled that the adopted daughter of Sam Khosravi and Maryam Falahi be taken from them because they are "not fit" to be her parents. Although declared on July 19th, the ruling has only recently come to light after reports revealed that the couple's appeal was rejected on September 22nd. The court further ruled that since Lydia's birth parentage is unknown, she is to be considered a Muslim and thus must be raised by Muslim parents. It is expected that Lydia will be returned to the orphanage.

The Christian couple adopted Lydia from an Iranian orphanage in February 2019. However, Sam and Maryam were among eight Christians who were arrested for their faith in July of that year. Sam was sentenced to one year in prison, followed by two years of exile. Maryam, a nurse, was banned for life from working in the public sector. The recent rulings are currently under appeal. To learn more about persecution in Iran, go to our country report.

Pray for this couple as they suffer this heartbreaking separation from their only child after attempting to have children of their own for many years. Whenever feeling overwhelmed by the grief of the government-imposed seizure, may Sam and Maryam be reminded that they can take their troubled hearts to the God of all comfort. Ask the Lord, who initially brought little Lydia into their loving care, to continue watching over this precious child. Also pray that the criminal convictions facing Sam and Maryam will be overturned, and that ultimately this family will be miraculously reunited.

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
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    Morteza, Ahmad and Ayoub
    Photo: Middle East Concern

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    Underground house church - Photo: VOM USA
    Pray for creative solutions as Iranian believers spread the Gospel.
    Photo: VOM USA

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  • 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