According to a new report from Middle East Concern, Iranian Christians have requested prayer regarding several recent incidents of Christian persecution.
On April 11, Daniel, 19, was arrested in Isfahan during a raid on his home by security agents. They stated that they were acting on the orders of the Revolutionary Court and that the accusations against him included the formation of a Christian house-church. They confiscated personal electronic items and books.
(Update 4/29/2010: We are pleased to report that Daniel has now been released on bail.)
On April 14, house church pastor Bahnam was arrested in Karaj. Police raided a fellowship meeting in his home, confiscated several items and assaulted Bahnam as they arrested him. Approximately ten other believers were present who were required to disclose details of how they came to the Christian faith and who baptized them. They were warned that they would face further questioning. Pastor Bahnam spent one month in prison about five years ago.
In separate incidents, two Christians from Tabriz who were detained in recent weeks have been released from prison. Reza, arrested on February 20, was and accused of leading a house fellowship, assisting converts and “spying for foreign powers,” was released from prison on bail on March 6.
Saeed, arrested on March 7, and also accused of Christian activities, was released on bail on March 16. His identification documents have been retained by the police and he has been barred from leaving Tabriz. Both Reza and Saeed face the possibility of further court proceedings.
On April 13, Maryam and Marzieh were summoned to a court hearing where it is understood that they would face charges of propagating Christianity and of apostasy (i.e. leaving Islam). At the hearing they were informed that more time was needed to consider their case and were allowed to return home. The case remains ongoing. They have both been in poor health since their release after eight months in prison.
Christians in Iran request prayer for the following:
- Christians in prison will know the peace and presence of Jesus;
- Charges against those released will be dropped;
- Those present when Bahnam was arrested will not face further questioning or pressure;
- Saeed’s documents will be returned and the travel restrictions on him lifted;
- Maryam and Marzieh will experience the healing touch of Jesus, completely recover from their illnesses and be strong physically, mentally and spiritually;
- All officials involved will love mercy and act justly, and hear the truth about Jesus;
- The Iranian government will stop regarding Christians as being anti-government and therefore a threat.
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