Iranian Christians praise the Lord for Amin Afshar Naderi’s release from prison on bail on 25th July. They request further prayer for his health following a 21-day hunger strike, and for the appeal process for him and the two believers sentenced with him.
Following a harsh court verdict, Amin went on hunger strike until his release on bail. During that time his health deteriorated rapidly.
In a verdict delivered on 3rd and 4th July Amin was sentenced to 15 years (possibly including time already served). Also sentenced with him were Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz (pictured) and Hadi Asgari, both for 10 years, and all were given 2-year travel bans. Bail amounts previously set were also raised by the judge, who set bail for Amin at 270 million Tomans (approximately US$80,000) and for Hadi at 170 million Tomans (approximately US$50,000). They have filed an appeal against their sentences and await a hearing.
Amin was among several Christians arrested on 26th December 2014 at a Christmas celebration at Pastor Victor’s home in Tehran. Pastor Victor, who is of Assyrian background, was verbally charged with “conducting evangelism”, “illegal house church activities” and “Bible printing and distribution” (among other charges). He was released on bail on 1st March 2015. Amin, a convert from Islam, was charged with “acting against national security” and “insulting the sacred” (blasphemy). Hadi, also a convert, was not present at the Christmas celebration but was arrested in August 2016 at a picnic in Firuzkuh and charged with “acting against national security” and “organising and creating house churches”. Hadi remains in prison.
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Iranian Christians request prayer:
a. that Amin will know the Lord’s complete healing and restoration following his imprisonment and hunger strike
b. that bail money will be returned
c. that the appeal judge will overturn the convictions and sentences and acquit Pastor Victor, Amin and Hadi
d. that Hadi will be released from prison soon
e. that those responsible for the persecution of Christians in Iran will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him