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Iran: Christian released after 40 months in prison

July 1, 2015
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Middle East Concern is pleased to report that a Christian prisoner in Iran has been released. This is a wonderful answer to prayer requests made by MEC over the last three years.

Homayoun was arrested on 8th February 2012 in Shiraz as part of a raid on a house church. He and three others were sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in prison.

Homayoun was released on bail on 10th November 2014, but in January this year his bail conditions were cancelled and he was recalled to serve the remainder of his sentence, which was due to be completed in October 2015. The three other prisoners were released in December 2014 and January 2015.

In April Homayoun’s family were disturbed to find that they were unable to visit him or make contact as he had been transferred to a notorious punishment ward in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz, possibly on account of his evangelistic activity in prison.

Homayoun was transferred back to the general ward on 1st June and released on Sunday 28th June.

Homayoun and his family thank all who have been praying for them and advocating for his transfer out of the punishment ward and for his early release.

Iranian Christians rejoice with Homayoun and his family, praising God for his release. They request our continued prayers for Homayoun and those who are still imprisoned on account of their Christian faith and activities.

Please pray that:

  1. Homayoun will recover quickly from the trauma of his imprisonment, experience healing and adjust to normal family life
  2. those awaiting a court hearing or an appeal will know the Lord’s presence, comfort and peace, and that the Lord will guide the judges in their decisions
  3. those serving their sentences will be encouraged and strengthened in their faith and experience the love of God and the presence of Christ
  4. the intimidation of Christians in Iran will not result in fear, but instead that faith will be strengthened and a clear witness maintained
  5. all prisoners in Iran will be treated with respect and dignity, as beings created in the image of God, and that those imprisoned unjustly on account of their faith in Jesus will be released soon
  6. all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

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Middle East Concern

www.meconcern.org

URL for this prayer request: http://meconcern.org/index.php/en/prayer-requests/909-iran-christian-released-after-40-months-in-prison


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More Prayer Requested for Pastors Jailed in Sudan

June 25, 2015
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Christians in Sudan request our continued prayers for Michael Yat (49) and Peter Yen Reith (36), two South Sudanese pastors on trial in Khartoum who had their latest hearing today, 25th June.

At today’s hearing the prosecution produced one person who gave testimony, but brought no new evidence against the pastors. The next hearing is due to be on 2nd July. At that hearing the judge will allow the two pastors to speak and he can question them. Afterwards he will decide whether to drop the case against them (if he believes there is no bases to the charges), or whether to allow the case to continue.

Pastor Yat and Pastor Reith were detained in Khartoum by the NISS on 14th December and 11th January respectively. They have been charged with a range of criminal offences. These include crimes against the state which are punishable by death, a life sentence or lesser detention and confiscation of property.

On 4th June the pastors were transferred from a low-security prison in Omdurman to the high-security Kober Prison, where they are held in separate cells. Kober Prison administrators have denied the pastors access to their families and lawyer. The defence lawyer has been informed that the pastors were transferred because Western visitors took photographs of them, and because an interview they gave was broadcast by a Christian media organisation.

Please pray:

  1. that Pastors Yat and Reith and their families will know the Lord’s peace and protection
  2. that all charges against them will be dropped
  3. that church leaders in Sudan will know the Lord’s wisdom in the face of increasing pressures against them
  4. that all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

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Middle East Concern

www.meconcern.org

URL for this prayer request: http://www.meconcern.org/index.php/en/prayer-requests/902-sudan-update-on-pastors-on-trial-25th-june


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Sundan: No New Evidence Against Pastors

June 16, 2015
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Greetings in the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace,

Christians in Sudan request our prayers for Michael Yat (49) and Peter Yen Reith (36), two South Sudanese pastors on trial in Khartoum who had their latest hearing on 15th June.

According to their lawyer, prosecutors failed to produce any new evidence, as officials from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) repeated statements they had made earlier in the trial.

The lawyer was also able to present his defence to the court. The next hearing is scheduled for  Thursday 18th June.

Pastor Yat and Pastor Reith were detained in Khartoum by the NISS on 14th December and 11th January respectively. They have been charged with a range of criminal offences. These include crimes against the state which are punishable by death, a life sentence or lesser detention and confiscation of property.

On 4th June the pastors were transferred from a low-security prison in Omdurman to the high-security Kober Prison, where they are held in separate cells. Kober Prison administrators have denied the pastors access to their families and lawyer. The lawyer has been informed that the pastors were transferred because Western visitors took photographs of them, and because an interview they gave was broadcast by a Christian media organisation.

Please pray:

  1. that Pastors Yat and Reith and their families will know the Lord’s peace and protection
  2. that all charges against them will be dropped
  3. that church leaders in Sudan will know the Lord’s wisdom in the face of increasing pressures against them
  4. that all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

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Middle East Concern

www.meconcern.org

URL for this prayer request: http://www.meconcern.org/index.php/en/prayer-requests/894-sudan-no-new-evidence-against-pastors


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Please Pray for Yemen!

May 13, 2015
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Church leaders in the Arabian Peninsula have requested prayer for the country of Yemen, including its Christian communities, following the destruction of a church building in Aden amid the current warfare.

Catholic church leaders report that the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the al-Ma’ala area of Aden was destroyed in an aerial bombing raid during the night of 11th May. The adjoining priest’s residence was also destroyed. The priest was not present at the time of the airstrike. The church building, constructed in 1960, is one of very few church buildings in Yemen (all of them in Aden) that have been permitted to host services for the expatriate Christian community. Christian gatherings also take place in private locations.

In recent weeks airstrikes led by Saudi Arabia have targeted Houthi rebels, the Zaydi Shi’a group that has seized control of much of the country. It is understood that the church was hit during a raid targeting Houthi positions. The current conflict has led to a deepening humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Church leaders request our prayers that:

a. peace and justice will be restored in Yemen

b. humanitarian aid will reach all who are in need

c.  the small remaining expatriate Christian community in Yemen will know the Father’s comfort and strength, and the Son’s close presence

d. all Christians in Yemen will know the Spirit’s guidance in every aspect of their life and witness

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Middle East Concern

www.meconcern.org

URL for this prayer request: http://meconcern.org/index.php/en/prayer-requests/874-yemen-aden-church-destroyed-in-bombing-raid


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Iran: believers being detained

March 6, 2012
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Iranian Christians have requested our prayers following the latest series of arrests of believers which have occurred in several cities, including Ahvaz, Shiraz, Kermanshah and Isfahan. Some were released within a few days but others remain detained.

On 22nd February at least six were detained in coordinated raids In Isfahan, including an Anglican Minister, Pastor Hikmat. A 78-year old female member of another Anglican congregation was released after three days in detention. At least five remain detained.

On 21st February 13 people were reportedly detained in a raid on a house church in Kermanshah. Nine were released the following day and one more on 28th February. Three remain detained. Also in Kermanshah, a believer who was arrested on 17th March 2011 and released on bail on 9th July 2011 has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for actions against national security by the Revolutionary Court. He has begun serving this sentence.

On 8th February eight house church members were detained in coordinated raids in Shiraz. They remain detained. Among others still detained because of their Christian faith or activities are Noorallah, Farshid, Behnam, Mehdi, Fariborz, Ehsan and Davoud. Elsewhere, several released on bail await possible court hearings.

Also still detained is Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani. Reports circulating last month suggesting that Yousef’s execution order had been signed have not been confirmed and are considered to have been unfounded. There remains uncertainty about his situation, though as of 3rd March he was confirmed still to be alive.

 Christians supporting this family request our prayers that:

a.  Each of those detained for their faith will know the presence and peace of Jesus

b.  Those detained will be released soon and restored to their families

c.  Others facing court hearings will be acquitted, or the charges against them dropped, and the bail money will be returned

d.  Believers across Iran will know the Lord’s wisdom and protection in meeting together, and will be enabled to live without fear

e.  All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.

Open sources used: FCNN, Mohabat News

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Website: www.meconcern.org

 


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Iran: some believers released on bail, others remain detained

February 23, 2012
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We are pleased to report that several believers detained in Iran have been released on bail.

Maasis Mosesian, an elder of the Assemblies of God church in Tehran who was arrested on 8th February, was released on bail on 16th February.

Farhad and Naser, who were among four detained when the AoG church in Ahvaz was raided on 23rd December 2011, were released on bail on 21st February. Recall that Farhad’s wife, Shahnaz, was released on bail on 1st January. Davoud remains detained. Property title deeds were submitted as bail for Shahnaz, Farhad and Naser.

Previously we mentioned concerns about Farhad’s health, as needed medication was refused. We have received news that although he was not physically mistreated in prison, he does suffer, both physically and emotionally, from the effects of his detention.

Some recent reports regarding Yousef Nadarkhani suggest that an order for his execution may have been issued. At present there is no confirmation of such reports, but verification efforts are continuing. Recall that Yousef was arrested in October 2009 and is awaiting confirmation of a death sentence for apostasy which was upheld in provincial court hearings in September 2011. He remains detained.

Others who remain detained in Iran because of their Christian faith include Noorallah (detained since December 2010), Farshid (detained since December 2010, awaiting a verdict following a court hearing on 5th February), Behnam (detained since May 2011), Mehdi (detained since September 2011), Fariborz and Ehsan (both detained since November 2011) and up to seven believers in Shiraz (detained since 8th February). Many others previously released on bail are still awaiting possible court hearings.

Iranian Christians supporting these believers request our prayers that:

a.    Maasis, Farhad and Naser will know the presence of Jesus as they adjust to normal life.

b.    All charges against them, and others released on bail, will be dropped, and the bail money and title deeds returned

c.    Yousef will know the presence and peace of Jesus, his life will be spared and he will be reunited with his family soon

d.    Davoud, Noorallah, Farshid, Bahnam, Mehdi, Fairborz, Ehsan and a number of believers in Shiraz will know the presence, peace and protection of Jesus, and be released soon

e.    All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.

Open sources used: FCNN, Mohabat News

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Website: www.meconcern.org


Egypt: sectarian incident partially resolved

February 21, 2012
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Egyptian Christians have called for prayer for an on-going situation in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat near Alexandria.

The troubles began following a rumor that a Christian man had illicit photographs and a video clip of a Muslim lady. On 27th and 30th January there were violent clashes, with a Muslim mob burning several Christian-owned homes and businesses. On 1st February a “village tribunal” of local Muslim leaders issued a decree ordering eight Christian families to leave and that their property be sold under the oversight of a local Muslim leader. If this decree was not complied with, then all 62 Christian families living in the village would be forcibly expelled.

On 16th February a fact-finding commission established by the recently elected National Assembly ruled that the village tribunal’s decree was illegal, the eight families’ property should be restored to them, the government should pay compensation for all damaged property, and the police should endeavor to identify and prosecute those responsible for violent attacks. The commission stressed that all residents’ legal rights must be respected, and that this was not incompatible with Islamic Shari’a law.

The commission affirmed that there is no evidence to support the rumors. The Christian man accused had been detained but was released on 15th February, as was the Muslim accused of starting the rumor.

Village residents were told to immediately welcome back three of the Christian families. The return of those closely related to the Christian accused by the rumor was deferred to a judicial review.

The fact-finding commission comprised two Christians, two moderate Muslims and a Salafi member of parliament who was involved in the village tribunal. They met with representatives of the evicted families, all members of the tribunal and two priests.

Egyptian Christians request our prayers that:

a.  The commission’s ruling will be effectively and promptly implemented

b.  All Christian families will be able to return

c.  True reconciliation will occur amongst all residents of the village

d.  The commission’s ruling will set a precedent that ends impunity for sectarian violence against Christians and other religious minorities

e.  All national, provincial and local authorities will uphold the legal rights of all Egyptians, and the National Assembly will promote effective measures to address sectarian violence

f.  All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

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Website: www.meconcern.org

URL of this prayer request: http://www.meconcern.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=488:egypt-sectarian-incident-partially-resolved&catid=7:prayer-requests&Itemid=12

 


Iran: further arrests and church service closures

February 14, 2012
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Iranian Christians have requested our prayers following further pressure in recent days on officially registered churches and on house churches.

On Wednesday 8th February, Maasis Mosesian, an elder of the Assemblies of God church in Tehran, was arrested at his workplace. He is understood to be detained in Gohardasht, about 20km west of Tehran. No reasons have been given for his arrest. Maasis is Armenian and is married with two children. Recall that three members of the Assemblies of God church in Ahvaz, south-west Iran, remain detained.

Two other churches in Tehran, Emmanuel Protestant Church and St Peter Evangelical Church, have been ordered to cease holding Farsi language services on Fridays. The pastors were given notification of this order last week by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and announced the order to their congregations on Friday 10th.

This decision means that there are now no Farsi language services on Fridays in any officially registered church in Tehran. The Friday services of the Assemblies of God Church were ordered to stop in October 2009. As Friday is the main week-end day, it is difficult for church members to attend services on other days.

Some members of the Emmanuel and St Peter churches have come under individual pressure. For example, some long-standing members have lost their jobs after the authorities placed pressure on their employers.

These churches are among the small number of officially registered churches that principally serve the Armenian and Assyrian communities of Iran. Most activities are conducted in the Armenian and Assyrian languages. The order to stop Farsi services is consistent with the authorities’ policy of restricting Christian activities to these traditional communities.

House churches, which have no official recognition and principally serve believers from Muslim backgrounds (BMBs), continue to be under great pressure. According to Mohabat News, ten BMBs were arrested in a raid on a house church in Shiraz on 8th February. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Iranian Christians request our prayers that:

a.  Maasis will know the peace and presence of Jesus, and be released soon

b.  Likewise for all other believers detained for their faith in Jesus

c.  The decision will be reversed and Farsi-language services allowed to recommence on Fridays

d.  Church leaders will be guided in how to respond

e.  Those wishing to worship in Farsi will be able to do so

f.  Those that have lost their jobs will find alternative employment

g.  All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

Open sources used: FCNN, Mohabat News

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Website: www.meconcern.org

URL of this prayer request: http://www.meconcern.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=486:iran-further-arrests-and-church-service-closures&catid=7:prayer-requests&Itemid=12


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Iran: update on Christians detained following raid on a church service

February 9, 2012
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In December we requested prayers following a raid on an officially recognized church in Ahvaz during a service on 23rd December. Three remain detained, namely the church’s pastor, Farhad, and two other church members, Davoud and Naser. Farhad’s wife, Shahnaz, was detained but released on 1st January.

There is mounting concern for Farhad’s health. He had been receiving medical treatment shortly before being detained. In jail, he has been denied access to a doctor and has been unable to continue his medication.

Shahnaz was released when a property title-deed was deposited as bail. However, there are no known charges against her, nor against Farhad, Davoud and Naser.

Recall that many attendees of the service were detained briefly. Mobile phones were confiscated, as was the church’s audio-visual equipment and Christian literature.

At least ten others remain detained in Iran because of their Christian faith. These include Noorallah (arrested in December 2010 and understood to be held in the same prison as Farhad, Davoud and Naser), Farshid (also arrested in December 2010), and Behnam (arrested in May 2011). Yousef Nadarkhani (arrested in October 2009) also remains detained, awaiting a written verdict after his death sentence for apostasy was upheld in provincial court hearings in September 2011. Many others have been released on bail and are awaiting possible court hearings.

Iranian Christians request our prayers that:

a.  Farhad, Davoud and Naser will know the presence and peace and healing of Jesus, and be acquitted and released soon

b.  Likewise for Noorallah, Farshid, Behnam, Yousef and other detained believers

c.  Shahnaz and other family members of detainees will know the Father’s strength

d.  Those released on bail would be acquitted of all false and unjust charges

e.  All church members will know the Spirit’s wisdom and guidance, especially concerning meeting together for worship

f.  Confiscated property and bail money and title deeds would be returned

g.  All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

Open source used: Mohabat

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Website: www.meconcern.org


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Iran: four Christians detained following raid on a church service

December 26, 2011
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Iranian Christians have requested our prayers following a raid on an officially recognized church in Ahvaz during a service on Friday 23rd December. All attendees, including children, were reportedly detained. All mobiles were confiscated, as was the church’s audio-visual equipment and Christian literature. Most were released within a few hours. However, the church’s pastor (Farhad), his wife (Shahnaz) and two other church members (David and Naser) remain detained. Their whereabouts are unknown.

We are pleased to report that another Iranian Christian, Shahla Rahmati, was released on 20th December having been cleared of all charges against her. She had been detained since 9th March.

Iranian Christians request our prayers that:

a.  Farhad, Shahnaz, David and Naser will know the presence and peace of Jesus, and be released soon

b.  All church members will know the Spirit’s wisdom and guidance, especially concerning meeting together for worship

c.  All confiscated property would be returned

d.  Shahla would know the Father’s love and healing as she adjusts to normal life

e.  All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

 Open source used: Elam, FCNN

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Website: www.meconcern.org


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About author

Middle-aged father of three with one awesome daughter-in-law and one awesome son-in-law , and one very special grandson, with a great job and a wonderful wife. We have lived in Central Indiana for over 18 years and love it.

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