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ICC Note:

Iranian Christians request prayer as the government continues to target officially recognized Protestant churches and also the house church movement, Middle East Concern reports.

6/4/2012 Iran (Middle East Concern) – Iranian Christians request renewed prayer as the Government’s campaign of intimidation against Christians and Churches continues. This campaign is targeted both at the small remaining number of officially recognised Protestant churches, and also against the house church movement.

In early May leaders of the Assemblies of God church in Tehran were ordered by the Ministry of Intelligence to submit the names and ID numbers of all members. The church has long been under close surveillance; the latest order makes it even more difficult for those from Muslim backgrounds to attend the church.

More than 20 believers remain detained across Iran, because of their Christian faith or activities. Those arrested in raids since early February 2012 include five who remain detained in Tehran, five in Shiraz, three in Kermanshah and at least two in Isfahan. Five others in Isfahan were confirmed released in early May, including Hekmat Salimi, the lay leader of St Luke’s Anglican Church.

Believers who have been held for more than a year include Noorallah and Farshid who were both arrested in December 2010, and Yousef who has been detained since October 2009 and remains under a death sentence. Behnam, serving a sentence in Karaj since May 2011, continues to suffer ill health.

Iranian Christians supporting these believers thank us for our prayers. The request our continued intercession asking that:

a)    all Christians in Iran will know the protection of the Father, comfort of the Son and the guidance of the Holy Spirit
b)    Church and fellowship group leaders would know the Spirit’s discernment and wisdom
c)    all those still detained for their faith will be released soon and, together with their families, will know the peace, presence and protection of Jesus
d)    All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.

[Middle East Concern]