Iranian Christians have requested our prayers following the arrest on the morning of 21st May of Robert Asserian, a pastor of the Assemblies of God (AoG) church in Tehran. Security forces made the arrest as Pastor Robert was leading a prayer meeting at the church. They had earlier raided his house and confiscated personal belongings, including computer equipment and books. His whereabouts are unknown.
Pressures on the AoG and other officially recognised churches increased during 2012, with greater surveillance and restrictions imposed and with the closure of some services, especially Friday or Farsi-language services. These pressures have continued during 2013. Leaders of the AoG church in Tehran informed their members on 19th May that major changes to the church’s activities were under consideration due to increasing pressure from the authorities.
Earlier this month we requested prayer for the leaders of the AoG church in Ahvaz which remains closed following a raid in December 2011. Recall that the pastor (Farhad), his wife (Shahnaz) and two others (Davoud and Naser) were sentenced to one- year’s imprisonment, a sentence they began serving on 1st May 2013.
Iranian Christians request our prayers that:
a. Robert will know the presence and peace of Jesus, and that he will be released soon
b. He and other church leaders will know the Spirit’s wisdom, especially concerning public acts of worship
c. Farhad, Shahnaz, Davoud, Naser and all others detained because of their Christian faith and activities will know the close presence of Jesus each day, and His healing touch
d. Their convictions will be dropped and they will be released soon
e. All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
Source; Middle East Concern