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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 three Azeri believers and Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, whom the authorities considered the leader of the Christian gathering. For more details on this raid, go to this page.

The Azeri Christians were ultimately granted a conditional release in November 2016 and returned to their homeland (read more). However, Naser was charged with "acting against national security through the formation and establishment of an illegal church organization in his home." During his trial in May 2017, he was legally convicted of this charge and sentenced to ten years in prison.

While Naser has appealed this sentence, it has been rejected, along with requests for parole throughout the appeal process. In the meantime, he continues to serve his sentence at the notorious Evin Prison. However, in an encouraging development, the Supreme Court has ruled that his appeal will be heard, although it was not known at the time of publishing this report exactly when the hearing is to take place.

Please prayerfully intercede on behalf of Naser as he continues to serve his prison sentence in what is reputed to be a very dangerous prison. Ask the Lord to provide this faithful believer with His peace, strength, protection and encouragement. Also remember the other Christians who are presently being imprisoned in Iran for their faith. Specifically pray that God's Holy Spirit will work within the hearts and minds of the judges and lawyers in advance of Naser's upcoming hearing, guiding them so that they will not be influenced by external pressures but rather by His truth.

Current Ministry Fund

By funding television broadcasts, VOMC is making it possible for a vast audience of viewers throughout Iran to be reached via satellite with the "Good News" of Jesus' tremendous love for them. VOMC is also working with ministry partners to provide the Theology of Persecution course in the Farsi language so Iranian believers can be taught an accurate theological perspective and, therefore, gain a better 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 (99.6), 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

  • Two Christians Released from Evin Prison
    Naser sitting in a home.
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Article18

    When news broke out that Evin Prison in Tehran had experienced a fire on October 15th, families of the prisoners were rightly concerned about the safety of those who were inside during the incident. Sounds of gunfire had been heard in the prison, along with exp

  • Christian Couple Detained
    Sara Ahmadi and Homayoun Zhaveh
    Sara Ahmadi and Homayoun Zhaveh
    Photo: Article18

    Homayoun Zhaveh and his wife Sara Ahmadi have faced legal difficulties since June 2019 because of their faith. In November 2020, Sara was sentenced to 11 years in prison for her alleged role in leading a house church. Homayoun was sentenced to two yea