Persecution Fridays – Iran – Pastor Faces Charges

September 2, 2011 at 10:31 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | 2 Comments
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website:

Iran: Pastor Faces Charges

Iranian pastor Abdolreza “Matthias” Haghnejad was released from prison on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, after a family member pledged their property for his bail. Haghnejad is charged with blasphemy against Islam, according to VOM contacts.

Haghnejad, a pastor from the city of Bandar Anzal, was arrested on Aug. 17, while making a pastoral visit in the city of Rasht. VEVAK, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and National Security, held Haghnejad in prison in the Rasht area until his family paid the $30,000 bail, according to ASSIST News Service.

“[Blasphemy against Islam] is a serious charge against Haghnejad, so I ask that you continue to pray for him and his family,” VOM contacts said. “God made a way for his acquittal previously, and I believe he will do so again.”

Haghnejad and 10 other church members were detained earlier this year and charged for activities against the Iranian order and drinking alcohol but they were later acquitted on May 1. The charges referred to their involvement in a house church meeting and to taking communion wine.

Haghnejad’s most recent arrest occurred amidst reports of escalated government pressure on Christians. Please pray that God will provide Haghnejad and his family with strength and courage while they wait for the court hearing on the blasphemy charges.

Persecution Friday: Iran

February 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: 

 Iran: Seven Christians Released

Seven Iranian Christians were released from prison on bail on Saturday, Jan. 29. Four women were released from Tehran’s Evin prison, and two men and a woman were released in the city of Isfahan three days earlier. The seven spent one month in prison after being arrested along with 31 other Christians on Dec. 26, 2010. Some of the other 31 have since been released. All were arrested simply because they are Christians.

The seven reported they spent 34 days in solitary confinement and endured hours of interrogation. They were tortured psychologically. It is likely that the other 26 Christians still in prison are in solitary confinement and are also facing interrogation.

Two of those who remain in prison are Rasool and Maryam Abdolahi, whose arrests left their two children to live as orphans. While Maryam was able to call her children from prison, the traumatized children have not heard from their father in more than 34 days. All of the other prisoners were able to call their families. Church leaders are extremely worried about Rasool.

Iran Christians
21 of the 33 Christians arrested.
(click to enlarge)

At least 26 other Christians are still in prison, including Yousef Nadarkhani, who was sentenced to death for apostasy. Two couples, Vahik and Sonia Abrahamian and Srash and Arezoo Kermanjani, have been in prison in Hamadan for nearly four months. Two others, Mojtaba Keshavarz and Shahin Rostami, have been held in Arak for more than three months. Church members are concerned for their health. Sonia is suffering from the poor conditions in prison, and Shahin is diabetic.

The women released in Tehran were Ladan Nouri, Nasrin Hosseini-nia, Anahita Zare and Sara Akhavan. Sara Akhavan’s family gave up their trade license in exchange for her bail, and if authorities decide she has broken bail, the family’s livelihood will be gone. Sadly, the trade license was not valuable enough to secure bail for Sara’s sister, Leila, who remains in prison. Rafi Nadipoor, Basir Amini and Yasaman Yar-Ahmadi were released in Isfahan.

Continue to pray for Christians in Iran, who face extreme pressure under the government’s new policy of “religious cleansing.” “We felt [your] presence alongside us,” said an Iranian Christian who spent months in prison. “Don’t think that your prayers are unimportant.”

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