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News / Thoughts

Sudan Update: Pastors freed!

August 10, 2015

Sudan Pastors Update: 10th August

We’ve loved hearing that Pastors Michael Yat and Peter Yen Reith have been released and all charges against them dropped, but, as with Meriam Ibrahim last year, having a case against you dropped in Sudan, doesn’t always mean the end of your troubles…

Early on 6 August, the two Pastors went to the airport to travel out of Sudan. They were not allowed to travel and were informed of travel bans which were still in force.

Their lawyer has returned to the judge presiding over this case and asked for the bans to be lifted. The judge told him to return on Sunday (after the Sudanese weekend) and present a petition.

However, the judge will only have jurisdiction to lift the bans if the travel ban was instituted by the prosecutor as part of the legal proceedings. If the travel ban was instigated by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) the judge will have no jurisdiction and the lawyer will have to petition the NISS to have it lifted.

Please continue to pray…

  • For protection and provision for Peter and Michael and their families
  • For their travel ban to be lifted.

Original story: 6th August

We love good news. So often we’re letting you know about some terrible situation that needs urgent prayer, and it’s brilliant to be able to let you know that your prayers have made a difference.

In the last few days Christian leaders in Sudan and a Christian church member in Iran have been released from prison.

In Sudan

Two Pastors, Michael Yat and Peter Yen Reith were accused of a series of crimes against the state, including espionage and offending Islamic beliefs. If found guilty, they could have faced the death penalty or life imprisonment. But on Wednesday we heard that they were released being found not guilty of all charges.

Their families told Radio Tamazuj, that they were ‘delighted’. “They have been just released after the court found them innocent of charges put against them,” said the wife of one of the pastors.

After the court hearing on 5 August, supporters joined the families in praises and prayer to God outside the courthouse.

In Iran

A few days earlier, Alireza Seyyedian, a Christian prisoner in Iran, was been released. If you were at our seminars at Soul Survivor last year you may have even written him a letter! We are grateful and delighted that he has been released.

He was arrested on 14 March 2012 when attempting to escape from Iran to Turkey. A member of the ‘Church of Iran’, Alireza had previously been convicted on charges of ‘propaganda against the regime’ and ‘acting against national security’.

He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, 90 lashes and a fine. In May 2013 it was reported that Alireza’s sentence had been reduced to three and a half years.

On 23 October 2014 Alireza went on hunger strike to protest against overcrowding and demand relocation from his section of the Rajaei Shahr prison. He stopped the hunger strike at the beginning of November and in May 2015 he was transferred to a different part of the prison.

On 27 July Alireza was allowed out of prison on furlough and on 1st August he was officially released after some three and a half years in prison.

Keep praying…

Another believer from Alireza’s network, Mohammadreza Hosseini, was also arrested and detained at the same time. It is believed that he is still in detention.

According to Middle East Concern, which reported the release, ‘Iranian Christians rejoice with Alireza, praising God for his release. They request our continued prayers for Mohammadreza and approximately 90 others who are still imprisoned in Iran on account of their Christian faith and activities.’

Alireza’s release comes a month after another prisoner – Homayoun Shekohi – was also freed from jail. So, please keep praying for imprisoned Christians in Iran.

Source: MEC, Open Doors

Please pray…

  • That all those released will recover quickly from the trauma of their imprisonment, experience healing and adjust to normal family life
  • For all other Christians serving prison sentences in Iran and Sudan – that they will experience the love of God and the presence of Christ wherever they are
  • That government officials in both countries will love mercy and act justly
  • Give thanks for answered prayer!

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