Middle East Concern, along with relatives and friends, are requesting prayer for three Azeri Christians and an Iranian Christian who were arrested on 24th June and remain in detention in Tehran.
On Friday 24th June, security agents raided an engagement party in Tehran attended by Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov from “Word of Life” Church in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Initially about ten people were arrested, but most were soon released. However Eldar, Yusif, Bahram and an Iranian Christian were taken away and remain in detention, though their actual whereabouts is unknown.
Since their arrest, the Azeri detainees have been able to contact their families a couple of times. However, they are being kept in solitary confinement, and consular officials from the Azerbaijan Embassy in Tehran have not been allowed to see them.
Eldar believes that they were set up and caught in a trap. As yet no charges have been brought against the detainees.
Their families and friends are obviously very concerned about the situation.
In more positive news, friends of Amin Khaki, another Iranian Christian in prison, are delighted that he has been released from.
Amin Khaki, was among eight people arrested forcibly at a picnic in Shush on 5th March 2014. They each received a sentence of one year in prison for spreading Christianity in Iran.
Following a re-trial on 1st February 2016, the sentences were upheld but the defendants were not immediately summoned to prison. Then, last month (June),Amin, along with three other Christians, presented themselves at Ahvaz Prison to serve the remainder of their sentences.
However, last week Amin was released, and does not need to serve a previous suspended sentence of one year in addition to the most recent sentence.
His fellow prisoners, Hossein Barounzadeh, Mohammad Bahrami and Rahman Bahmani still have four months left to serve on their sentences.
- Pray for the three Azeris and the Iranian Christian, that they will be released soon, and that God will bring peace and comfort to them and their families.
- Pray that no charges will be brought against the four men, and that officials from the Azerbaijan Embassy will be allowed to see them.
- Pray for Amin Khaki, that he will adjust well to his freedom, and that no new charges will be brought against him.
- Pray for Hossein, Mohammad and Rahman, that they will also be released, and know God’s peace as they wait in prison in the meantime.
- Pray that the witness of Iranian Christians in prison will cause many officials to learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
- Pray for protection for Christians in Iran, for the Church to continue to grow strong, and for opportunities to encourage each other in their faith.
Hebrews 13 vs 3: “ Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.“