Iranian Christians request renewed prayer for their country following a series of arrests in July and August. It is understood that at least 20 Christians, most believers from Muslim backgrounds (BMBs), have been arrested and detained during this period in several cities including Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan and Tabriz.
Among those arrested was Ebrahim, for whom we requested prayer in July as he awaited a decision following a court hearing on 6th July in Robat Karim. On 21st August Ebrahim was arrested once again together with two other believers, Masoud (a BMB) and Sevada (an Armenian Christian), during a raid by security officers at Masoud’s place of work. They remain detained.
President Hassan Rouhani, who took office on 3rd August following his election in June, pledged during his election campaign to improve Iran’s human rights situation. He spoke of establishing a ‘civil rights charter’ to ensure equality for all citizens without discrimination based on race, religion or gender. Christian leaders were among those who welcomed this pledge, though have noted that the President’s powers are limited. In particular, he does not have direct control of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Judiciary, the main perpetrators of many of Iran’s human rights abuses.
Pastor Saeed, a dual Iranian-US citizen imprisoned in Tehran since 26th September 2012, appealed this month to President Rouhani to uphold his pledge. Recall that Saeed’s conviction and eight-year sentence were upheld by the Tehran Court of Appeals on 25th August.
Iranian Christians request our prayers that:
a. Those detained because of their Christian faith and activities will know the presence and peace of Jesus each day
b. Those who face ongoing legal proceedings will know the Spirit’s guiding wisdom, that charges will be dropped or that these believers will be acquitted, and that bail payments will be returned
c. All Christians in Iran will know the protection of the Father, comfort of the Son and the guidance of the Holy Spirit
d. Church and fellowship group leaders will know the Spirit’s discernment and wisdom
e. President Rouhani and all in authority will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
Open sources used: Mohabat News, Elam Ministries, ACLJ