Ebrahim Firouzi, a Christian prisoner in Rajai Shahr Prison in Iran, has suffered physical abuse at the hands of prison guards when he was forced to attend an appeal hearing.
On 21st August 2013 Ebrahim was arrested with two friends during a raid by plain-clothed security officers. He had also been detained in 2011 and earlier in 2013 because of his Christian activities. The other two believers were released on bail after several months. On 2nd October 2014 Ebrahim was relocated from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison near Karaj. He was due for release on 13th January 2015 but was kept in detention, re-tried on 5th March 2015 and charged with “acting against national security, gathering and collusion”. At the end of April 2015 Ebrahim was sentenced to five years in prison. He is in a ward with potentially dangerous criminals and last year went on hunger strike to protest against these conditions.
On 13th July Ebrahim was summoned to attend an appeal hearing, but he refused to go as he was under the impression that it was sufficient for his lawyer to attend the hearing. Because of his refusal he was beaten by prison guards and forcibly taken to court. One of the presiding judges was absent however, and the appeal has been postponed until November.
Ebrahim’s mother appealed for Ebrahim’s release in a video published by the Human Rights Activists News Agency.
In March Ebrahim was able to release a call to prayer, noting God’s promises to those who remain faithful to him and asking for prayer for himself to stand strong in the face of persecution. He said:
“Jesus is our example; the Saviour who came among us to be crucified and save us. We sometimes have to sacrifice our freedom to live in God’s love, so I can’t think only about myself when there are so many believers suffering persecution.”
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Please pray for Ebrahim, asking that:
a. God will keep Ebrahim in His love and strengthen and encourage him despite the abuse and lack of freedom
b. he will be in good health and aware of God’s abounding love to him in Jesus
c. he will be released soon
d. the prison officials will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him