Over summer at events like Soul Survivor we asked many of you to write to one of 9 Iranian pastors who had been arrested and imprisoned purely because of their Christian activities. Unfortunately we’re sad to say that Pastor Behnam Irani is facing 18 new charges, according to reports coming out of Iran. Pastor Irani (43) was initially arrested in 2006, and sentenced in 2011 to six years imprisonment in Ghezal Hesar prison in Karaj.
His health is weak and he has been held for long periods in solitary confinement. In June Pastor Irani was taken from the prison and temporarily held in solitary confinement in an Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security detention centre. On five occasions he faced four-hour periods of interrogation.
Among the new charges levelled at Pastor Irani is the charge of ‘Mofsed-e-filarz’, which translates as ‘spreading corruption on earth’, and which carries the death penalty. Two other church leaders, Pastor Matthias Haghnejad and Silas Rabbani, have also been charged with this offence. It is claimed that all three men have been forced into confessing charges of espionage.
You can still write to Pastor Irani and other imprisoned Iranian Christians – let them know that they are not forgotten. Get tips and details on what to write and where to send the letter on this page…
Pastor Irani became a Christian in 1992, and a pastor in 2002. He pastored a 300-strong evangelical church in Karaj, a city 12 miles (20 km) west of Tehran. He is married to Kristina, an Armenian Christian. They have two children: daughter Rebecca (11) and son Adriel (5).
Source: CSW; Open Doors
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.