Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Prayer: Iran: update on new wave of arrests of BMBs
ICC Note:

Iranian Christians request prayer for the about seventy of their brethren who are currently detained in Iranian prisons across the country.

1/14/2011 Iran (Middle East Concern) – Last week we requested prayer following a new wave of arrests of believers from a Muslim background (BMBs) in Tehran and other Iranian cities. Iranian Christian leaders have called for a day of prayer for Iran, and particularly for those Christians who remain detained, to be held on Sunday 16th January.

Recall that the recent arrests started in the early hours of 26th December when 25 believers were detained in Tehran and other cities. Fourteen of those remain detained. Eleven were released following intense questioning and after signing statements that they would no longer participate in Christian activities.

Many further arrests have been reported in a number of areas, including Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan and Urumieh, with figures of more than 60 being mentioned by several sources. While some have been released many remain detained, including those identified as leaders of fellowships. There are reports that some have been physically mistreated while in detention. Some have been allowed limited telephone contact with relatives. No formal charges are yet known to have been filed against any of those detained.

Those arrested include some from traditional Christian backgrounds. For example, Pastor Leonard Keshishian of the Assemblies of God church in Isfahan was arrested on 31st December. He is from an Armenian ethnic background.

The Governor General of Tehran Province, Morteza Tamadon, acknowledged in a statement on 4th January that a number of evangelical Christians had been arrested. He referred to their ‘corrupting’ influence and warned that further arrests were imminent.

In addition to those recently arrested, a number of Christians remain imprisoned after being detained in previous months. These include Mohammad and Ali, house church leaders arrested in Varamin on 14th November, Pastor Vahik and his wife Sonia, Arash and his wife Arezo, and two others arrested in Hamedan on 4th September, Pastor Behrouz arrested in Shiraz on 16th June, and Pastor Yousef, arrested in Rasht in October 2009. There continues to be no further news of pastor Yousef’s appeal to the Supreme Court following his conviction for apostasy in September and sentencing to death.

Iranian Christians request our continued prayers that:

a.      Those detained will know the presence and peace of Jesus in their cells, and be released soon

b.      The families of all those detained will know the presence and peace of Jesus

c.      Christians throughout Iran will not be intimidated by these events but will know the Spirit’s enabling and guidance in daily living

d.      This wave of persecution will cease, and our heavenly Father will use it to fulfil His purposes

e.      Yousef’s appeal will be upheld, and the charges against him will be dropped

f.      All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

[Middle East Concern]