(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
Anooshavan Avedian
Anooshavan Avedian
Photo: Article18

An Iranian-Armenian Christian leader has been sentenced to ten years in prison for promoting "propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam" through the house church he operated in his home. The 60-year-old believer, Anooshavan Avedian, was arrested in August 2020 and released on bail a month later, along with two converts to Christianity.

In addition to the ten-year prison sentence handed down last month, Anooshavan faces an additional ten years of "deprivation of social rights" after his release, which carries various restrictions – including the type of employment he will be permitted. The other two released Christians, Abbas Soori and Maryam Mohammadi, were not sentenced to prison but were given the same ten-year deprivation term, along with a two-year ban on international travel.

For a duration of two years, each of these believers are not allowed to live in Tehran, nor in its neighbouring provinces, and they also must not hold a membership to any political or social group. All three Christians are appealing their sentences. To read further about the persecution of followers of Christ in Iran, go to our country report.

Pray for Anooshavan as he presently serves time in custody, asking God to grant him needed grace and strength as he awaits justice and hopeful acquittal. In the meantime, may he serve as a vibrant witness of Christ's compassion to prison guards, fellow inmates, and those of the judicial system, through his words and deeds. Also lift up Abbas and Maryam who must now leave their homes and communities, in addition to adhering to the other imposed restrictions, praying that they will receive the help and encouragement they need, as well as opportunities to develop friendships in the new places where they must live. Pray that each of their appeals will be successful. In general, prayerfully remember Christians throughout Iran who seek to shine the light of Jesus in their darkened nation.

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.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

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

Religion (%)
Islam (99.6), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.2)

Leader
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.

end

Select a Region

Iran News

  • Sentences for Detained Christians
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Photo: Article18

    An Iranian-Armenian Christian leader has been sentenced to ten years in prison for promoting "propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam" through the house church he operated in his home. The 60-year-old believer, Anooshavan Avedian, was a

    ...
  • Christian Woman Now Facing Two-Year Sentence
    Silhouette of a woman, prison bars

    In July 2021, Fariba Dalir was arrested along with five other Christian converts, including her husband-to-be, Soroush. While awaiting trial, all six believers were ultimately released on bail – Fariba on November 18th and the others in October. While out on bail, Fariba and Soroush were married.

  • Retrial Request Denied
    Brother Naser
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Last month, it was reported that the prison sentence for Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was to be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Iran (read more). Naser was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly "acting against national se

    ...
  • Prison Sentence to be Reviewed by the Supreme Court
    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

    ...