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News / Thoughts

Iran: Five Christians arrested

September 5, 2016

Five Iranian Christians were arrested on Friday 26 August during a trip to the Alborz Mountains, north-east of Tehran – the latest in a recent spate of arrests in Iran.

Their wives and families have expressed concern for their safety.

Ramiel Bet Tamraz, Amin Nader Afshar, Hadi Askary, Mohamad Dehnay and Amir Sina Dashti were with their wives on a fishing trip when security officials from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) raided the gathering. Amin Nader Afshar asked to see the arrest warrant, which the officials did not produce. Amin was then beaten and the five men were taken away.

Middle East Concern (MEC) report that since the arrest, family members have been unable to obtain information about the men’s whereabouts. They see no reason for the arrests apart from a connection to previous arrests in 2014.

Assyrian Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, the father of Ramiel Bet Tamraz, was arrested on 26 December 2014 at a Christmas celebration at his home. Amin Nader Afshar was also arrested at the same time.

Pastor Victor was charged verbally with ‘conducting evangelism’, ‘illegal house church activities’ and ‘Bible printing and distribution’. He was released on bail on 1 March 2015. Amin had been released on bail in February 2015. They are both expecting to be summoned to court to face charges related to their Christian activity.

It is feared that MOIS officials aim to force confessions and extract ‘evidence’ against the victims of the 2014 Christmas arrests.

Pray now…

The families and friends of these five men request our prayers. Please pray:

  • That those detained will know the presence, peace and provision of Jesus, be able to answer their interrogators with wisdom, and be released soon
  • That they will remain strong in their faith and clear in their witness
  • That family members will know the comfort, peace and presence of Jesus
  • That the charges against Pastor Victor and Amin will be dropped
  • That all officials involved will learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.