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Prayer: Iran: update #2 on wave of arrests
ICC Note:

Middle East Concern updates us on the release of Christian prisoners in Iran, and requests prayer for more than thirty Christians who are believed to still be in prison.

2/16/2011 Iran (Middle East Concern) – On 14th January we requested further prayer for a number of Christians detained in Iran. We are pleased to report that several of those detained in the wave of arrests starting on 26th December 2010 have now been released on bail.

Those released include six who had been held in Tehran and four who had been held in Isfahan, including pastor Leonard Keshishian of the Assemblies of God Church. Some of those released had been forced to spend prolonged periods in solitary confinement and had been subjected to harsh interrogation.

Also released was pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani, a second generation Christian, who had been detained in Shiraz since 16th June 2010. He was released on bail yesterday (i.e. 15th February) following a court hearing on 6th February. At the court hearing he and four believers from a Muslim background (BMBs) faced charges of anti-state activity. No verdict was given and a further hearing is expected in April. Of those four BMBs, two had been detained, together with Pastor Behrouz, in January 2010, and the others had been detained in February 2010, before being released on bail.

More than 30 Christians, most from a Muslim background, are understood to still be detained in a number of different cities, including Tehran, Mashhad, Karaj, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Rasht, Hamedan and Arak.

There continues to be no further news of pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’s appeal to the Supreme Court following his conviction for apostasy in September and sentencing to death.

Iranian Christians request our prayers that:

a. All detained believers will know the presence and peace of Jesus in their cells, and be the  presence and peace of Jesus to fellow prisoners and guards

b. Those recently released, together with their families, will be strengthened in their faith, and find fellowship with fellow believers

c. Those facing court hearing will know the Spirit’s guiding an equipping

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

e. The authorities will stop regarding BMBs as a political threat

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

[Middle East Concern]