Friends of Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Mohammadreza Omidi and Saheb Fadaie request prayer following the arrest of Mohammadreza and Saheb at their homes yesterday evening (24 July) and of Yasser today (25 July). This follows the arrest of their pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani on 22 July.
On 6 July, 2017, pastor Yousef, along with fellow converts, Mohammadreza, Yasser and Saheb, were each sentenced to ten-years imprisonment for propagating house churches and promoting “Zionist Christianity”. Yousef and Mohammadreza were also sentenced to two years’ internal exile. Both will serve this sentence in the south of Iran, far away from their families in Rasht.
Following a court appeal in December 2017, a decision upholding the sentences was delivered to the lawyer representing the four men in May. Normally, once a prison sentence is upheld in the appeal courts, an officials summons is issued for the prison sentence to start. None of the men had received such a summons before their arrest.
The violent arrest of Yousef Nadarkhani on 22 July has been reported widely in the press. Around ten police officers arrived at the house and physically assaulted Yousef’s son when he opened the door to them. Both Yousef and his son were tasered, despite offering no resistance. The manner of their arrest was probably an attempt to intimidate the Christian community, but their friends report that the church has not given in to fear.
Yasser, Mohammadreza and Saheb have been taken to Evin Prison in Tehran to join pastor Yousef, who has been put in a “quarantine” ward normally used as a place of punishment.
Please pray that:
a. The Lord will comfort and strengthen those arrested and their families and that the Christian community in Iran will trust the Lord and not be intimidated
b. The Iranian authorities will treat converts and other religious minorities with respect and that they and their families will not be wrongly and aggressively handled
c. Those officials responsible for the persecution of Christians will be convicted of the injustice and repent and find new life in Christ