Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

10/25/2022 Iran (International Christian Concern) – On October 17th, two Iranian Christians were released after a large-scale fire damaged the notorious Evin prison in Tehran two days prior. There are conflicting statements as to whether the fire is relevant to the release of the prisoners, but there is little knowledge as to why they, Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh and Fariba Dalir, were released before the completion of their prison sentence. Nasar Navard Gol-Tapeh was about halfway through a 10-year sentence for operating a home church, which is seen as acting against national security. He was denied a retrial and parole on multiple occasions, so this sudden pardon came as a shock to him and his family. Fariba Dalir Was serving a two-year sentence for similar “crimes,” acting against national security by establishing a home church; she was also released on time served. 

In Iran, underground churches can be seen as undermining the Islamic revolution and are often dealt with harshly. As seen in these cases, each was sent to prison for participation and development of home churches. Evin Prison is known for holding many protestors, activists, journalists, and those actively practicing the Christian faith. A fire on October 15th damaged the prison after there were said to have been explosions and gunfire inside the walls. This is estimated to have killed eight prisoners and injured a portion of the building, but it is unclear if it is tied to the release of these individuals. 

Nasar is said to have had a severe gum infection while incarcerated and suffered from covid-19 multiple times. He was denied medical care on many occasions before being sent for treatment. Fariba was originally sentenced to five years, but it was later reduced to two years, of which she only completed ten months of this sentence before being released. During her imprisonment, she spent 38 days in solitary confinement at the beginning of her stay before entering the general prison public. The conditions in Evin are rumored to be harsh and overcrowded, making it a high-risk location to reside in. 

These individuals are now back with their families after fighting for their freedom. Although it is not entirely known why they were released early, it is an occasion to celebrate. Many family members and other members of the community advocated for their release, so this is an answer to many prayers. Prayers are now needed for those still incarcerated for similar circumstances and for the healing of these two from physical and emotional ailments associated with their time and Evin Prison. 

For interviews, please contact [email protected].