Iranian Christians thank us for our ongoing prayers for believers in prison in their country. They rejoice that Homayoun Shokouhi was granted conditional release on 10th November but request prayer for Masoud Rezai who was summoned on 9th November to serve a five-year sentence.
Recall that Homayoun, his wife Fariba and son Nima were among seven believers arrested in Shiraz on 8th February 2012 when their fellowship meeting was raided. An associate was also arrested at the same time in his home. In June 2012 the eight were found guilty of “attending a house-church, spreading Christianity, having contact with foreign ministries, propaganda against the regime and disrupting national security.” Homayoun and three others were sentenced to 3 years and 8 months’ imprisonment. One of these others, Mohammad-Reza, was released conditionally on 18th May 2014.
Following an application of his family to the Shiraz court, Homayoun, was released conditionally on Monday 10th November 2014 after serving two years and eight months of his sentence in Adel-Abad prison. Those who remain detained are Mojtaba and Vahid.
Recall that in a separate incident, nine members of the ‘Church of Iran’ were arrested in Shiraz in October 2012 when their prayer meeting was raided. One detainee was released shortly afterwards; the others were formally convicted and given sentences ranging from one year to six years’ imprisonment (though one’s conviction was subsequently dropped). An appeal was rejected on 29th March 2014 and subsequently four of those convicted – Shahin, Mohammad, Suroush and Mehdi – began serving their sentences.
On 9th November Masoud was called to Adel Abad prison, Shiraz, to serve his sentence of five years. The two others, Eskander and Bijan, expect to be summoned soon to serve their sentences.
Iranian Christians give thanks for Homayoun’s release. They request our prayers that:
a. Homayoun will know physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual healing, and experience strength and enabling as he and his family come together
a. Masoud and all other believers imprisoned in Shiraz will know the Lord’s presence, comfort and strength, and that they will be released soon
b. Eskandar and Bijan will know the Lord’s presence and support as they wait to be summoned to serve their prison sentences
d. All prisoners in Iran will be treated with respect and dignity, as beings created in the image of God
e. All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
Source: Middle East Concern