Iranian Christians request prayer for convert Fatemeh Bakhteri (also known as Ailar), who has started serving a one-year prison sentence in Evin Prison on account of her Christian activities and refusal to recant her faith.
After an appeal court in May upheld her one-year prison sentence for “propaganda against the regime,” Fatemeh presented herself at Evin Prison in Tehran on 31 August.
She was informed about the sentence in September 2018, which included a two-year ban on all social activities involving more than two people. Fatemeh’s co-defendant, Saheb Fadaie (also known as Zaman), was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment and two years’ exile in Hamedan for “action against national security through collusion and gathering.” However, he is already serving a ten-year prison sentence for “establishing a house church” and “promoting Zionist Christianity.”
On 15 January there was an initial appeal hearing at which Fatemeh and Saheb were pressured by presiding judges Hassan Babaei and Mashallah Ahmadzadeh to renounce their faith. When both refused to do so, their sentences were upheld in a decision announced in May.
Friends of Fatemeh report that she was not afraid as she went to prison on Saturday, but request prayer for her that:
- The Lord will strengthen and encourage her with His presence and also be with her husband and encourage him
- The Lord will also encourage Saheb, as well as all the other Christian prisoners serving sentences in Evin Prison
- The Iranian authorities will cease their persecution of religious minorities and respect freedom of religion as an obligation under international law