Iran – Iranian Christians found guilty

In May 2008, three converts from Islam and their families were arrested and subjected to hours of interrogation about their faith and house church activities. Gholamzadeh and his wife, and Anari and his wife, were arrested at Shiraz airport as they were on their way to attend a Christian conference in Dubai. Two hours later, local police invaded the home of Hamid Hussein and arrested him and his three adult children. Charges were brought against Hussein, Gholamzadeh and Anari and nearly a year later, after six separate court sessions, the court in Shiraz found the men guilty of cooperation with anti-government movements and propagation of the Christian Gospel. The men have each been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and five years probation, but they have been instructed by the judge that if they are found to be continuing “with their Christian activities and if they ever speak of their faith and propagate the Gospel, their suspended sentence will be enforced and they will be arrested and tried as apostates”. The three men are also forbidden from contacting each other during this time. Christian converts from Islam are subject to mistreatment if arrested and bail is often set at an extremely high level. Further detention or formal criminal prosecution is threatened if converts are caught worshipping or spreading their faith. • Pray for protection for Iranian Christians and for an end to the persecution that they face on a regular basis. • Thank the Lord Jesus that groups of Iranian converts to Christianity are doubling in size every six months, as confirmed by one of the Christian house-church movements. • Pray that the upcoming Iranian Presidential elections (June 12) will yield a President who will let Christians worship and witness without being monitored, harassed or arrested.

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