On 28 January Anahita (Anna) Khademi, the wife of pastor Abdolreza (Matthias) Haghnejad was released on bail of 180 million tomans (approximately US $4,000). She still faces charges, including “propaganda against the system” and “disturbing public opinion.”
On 3 January 2023 Anna was summoned to intelligence offices in Bandar Azali for questioning, where she was arrested, then transferred to Rasht.
Anna’s husband, Matthias, arrested with two other Christian converts at a Christmas celebration in Bandar Anzali on 26 December 2022, remains detained in Lakan Prison in Rasht after being transferred from Anzali prison.
Matthias is serving a six-year sentence handed down in 2014 on national security charges which had been successfully appealed. However, in January 2022 the judicial head of the court in Karaj overruled the appeal, describing Matthias as an enemy of the state, and upheld the 2014 sentence. He was re-arrested in December 2022 while on leave from prison and serving the local house church.
Friends of Anna rejoice that she has been released on bail but request prayer that:
- The charges against her for the peaceful expression of her faith in Jesus Christ will be dropped.
- God will heal the chronic pain in her back
- God will encourage Anna and Matthias and that Matthias will also be released from prison
- The Iranian authorities will stop the persecution of Christian converts and adherents to other faiths in line with their obligations under international law.