Friends of two imprisoned Iranian Christian believers, Mohammed Roghangir and Massoud Rezai, request prayer for them and their families, as they have been prevented from obtaining early release on good behaviour.
Mohammed and Massoud were among seven believers from Muslim backgrounds arrested at a prayer meeting on 12th October 2012, as part of a wider campaign of intimidation by Iranian authorities against Christians and other religious minorities.
In July 2013 those arrested were convicted of “action against national security” and “propaganda against the order of the system”. Mohammed received a sentence of six years and Massoud five years, while the others (who have since been released) received sentences varying from one to five years. Following the rejection of an appeal, they were summoned to Adel Abad prison and started serving their sentences in July 2014.
Time spent in detention prior to the verdict being given is deducted from the sentence, and under Iranian law a convict is entitled to early release on good behaviour. Accordingly, Mohammed and Massoud applied to the public prosecutor for early release in March 2016. However, it became clear at the end of September that Iranian intelligence had prevented the prosecutor from allowing their request for release.
Mohammed, a local church leader, has been under pressure from the authorities to agree to leave Iran when he is eventually released from prison, and it is believed that this action by the intelligence service is in response to his determination to remain. Many Christian leaders in Iran are harassed to the extent that they eventually leave the country, leaving the growing Christian church without many trained and capable pastors.
MAY BE CIRCULATED TO GENERAL MAILING LISTS AND OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS, AND QUOTED FROM FREELY IN REPORTS CITING “MIDDLE EAST CONCERN” AS THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.
Iranian Christians request our prayers that:
a. Mohammed and Massoud will be comforted, and released soon
b. their families will be comforted in this time of disappointment, when they had anticipated the release of their loved ones
c. all prisoners in Iran will be treated with respect and dignity as beings created in the image of God
d. all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him