Amazing news! An Iranian Christian has been released from prison after being arrested in April for ‘propaganda against the [Iranian] establishment’.
Mohammad Ali Yassaghi, 52, a convert to Christianity and a member of the Church of Iran, was arrested on 10 April and kept in Babol Prison in the capital of Mazandaran Province in northern Iran. On 25 June, in a rare occurrence, the judge at the 102 Revolutionary Court of Babol ‘courageously’ rejected the charges against him and ordered his release.
Sadly, Mohammad’s case is unusual. It’s a worrying trend: prison sentences for Iranian Christians are increasing.
Four other Church of Iran members are expecting to have to report to prison any day now, having seen their ten-year prison sentences upheld by an appeal court in May.
The four Christians were convicted of ‘promoting Zionist Christianity’ and running house churches. They appealed their sentences before the Revolutionary Court on 14 December last year but were unsuccessful.
Four other Christians who also received lengthy sentences are still awaiting the outcome of their appeals, which were heard by a judge who ‘doesn’t have a good track record in dealing with Christians arrested for their Christian activities’.
Iran’s constitution acknowledges Christians as one of the recognised religious minorities allowed to operate in the country ‘within the limits of the law’. But in reality things are very different: the government harasses and imprisons Christians and other religious minorities and the law does not allow Muslims to convert to Christianity – or even renounce their beliefs.
But your prayers and support can make a world of difference to our brothers and sisters in Iran, even in prison, where it seems that noone can reach them.
After four years’ imprisonment for ‘violating national security’, Iranian Christian Maryam Naghash Zargaran was released from Tehran’s Evin prison in August 2017. Open Doors held a worldwide letter-writing campaign for her during her time in prison, and recently met with her to deliver the letters.
Get sponsored to spend a whole weekend offline and raise money and prayer for secret, silenced Christians, like Mohammad and Maryam in Iran. Join the Blackout – sign up and pre-order your Blackout pack today!
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imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.