Iranian Christians request our continued prayer for believers held in prison, rejoicing in some answers to prayer.
Firstly, Sevada Aghasar was released on bail on Sunday (2nd March) having been detained in Evin prison, Tehran, since 21st August 2013. Sevada is an Armenian Christian. His home was searched during a wave of raids at Christmas 2012. In August 2013 he was arrested together with two other believers, Masoud and Ebrahim, both of whom are from Muslim backgrounds. According to reports, Masoud has also been released.
Secondly, we are pleased to report that Pastor Behnam Irani has been able to receive hospital treatment. He has been in Ghezal Hasar prison, Karaj, since May 2011 serving a six-year sentence for alleged anti-state activity. Since 2012 he has received only minimal treatment for a worsening intestinal complaint. On 22nd February he was allowed to undergo surgery and the operation was reportedly successful. He remained in hospital for a few days recuperation before being returned to prison.
Thirdly, during February another detained believer, Alireza Seyyedian, was granted five-days’ temporary leave from Evin prison. In November 2011 he was convicted on charges including “propaganda against the regime” and “acting against national security.” It is understood that his sentence was adjusted to three and a half years’ imprisonment following an appeal. He began serving the sentence in March 2012.
Across Iran, at least 40 believers are understood to be detained for their faith or Christian activities.
Christians supporting these believers are thankful for these developments and thank us for our prayers. They request our continued intercession, asking that:
a. Sevada, Masoud and others recently released will know the presence and peace of Jesus as they adjust to normal living
b. Pastor Behnam will know the healing touch of Jesus, and be provided with adequate continuing health care
c. Alireza, Ebrahim and all others detained for their faith across Iran will know the daily peace, presence and protection of Jesus
d. All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
Source: Middle East Concern