Iranian Christians request prayer for three Christians belonging to the self-styled “Church of Iran” network who were arrested on 13th May and remain in detention in Rasht.
On 13th May security agents raided the home of Yousef Nadarkhani, a church leader who attracted international attention after he was charged with apostasy and sentenced to death in 2010. He was finally acquitted of apostasy charges, but sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for evangelising. He was eventually released on 7th December 2013.
Yousef and his wife Tina were arrested along with Yasser Mossayebzadeh. Yousef and Tina were released later that day, but Yasser remains in detention.
Related to these arrests, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammedreza Omidi were summoned to report to the security offices. Their homes were then raided and phones, computers and Christian literature were confiscated. Saheb and Mohammedreza were then detained and are thought to be held in Lakan prison near Rasht.
Yasser, Saheb and Mohammedreza were all previously arrested in similar raids in February 2015. Mohammedreza was also one of four Christian converts sentenced in 2013 to receive 80 lashes for drinking communion wine and possessing a satellite receiver and dish.
It is reported that the three detained men have been offered bail equivalent to US$3,000 each.
These arrests are part of a larger systematic action on the part of Iranian authorities to harass Christian communities and put pressure on active Christians to leave Iran.
Open sources used: Christian Solidarity Worldwide
MAY BE CIRCULATED TO GENERAL MAILING LISTS, OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS, AND QUOTED FROM FREELY IN REPORTS CITING “MIDDLE EAST CONCERN” AS THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.
Those close to Yasser, Saheb and Mohammedreza request prayer that:
a. they will be released soon, and God will bring peace and comfort to them and their families
b. no charges will be brought against the three men, and there will be no further action against Yousef and Tina
c. God will strengthen and encourage faithful Christians in Iran to withstand the pressure to leave
d. all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him