18 November 2019
Frustratingly, the court hearing due to take place for five Iranian Christian believers was postponed – the only reason given was that the court was ‘too busy’.
The hearing was to review the sentences of five believers: Pastor Victor bet Tamraz, his wife Shamiram, Amin Nader Afshari, Kavian Fallah Mohammadi and Hadi Asgari. Kavian believes that the underlying reason for the postponement is Pastor Victor’s determination to remain in Iran.
Thank you to everyone who has written to these courageous Christians – the writing campaign to Pastor Victor, Shamiram, Ebrahim and Nasser-Navard Gol-Tapeh has now closed. Please continue to pray for them, that their appeals would be heard and that God’s will and justice would be enacted.
30 October 2019
Please pray for our dear brother Ebrahim Firouzi in Iran, who is about to begin two years in exile.
Ebrahim was released from Rajaei Shahr prison in Karaj – where he’d been imprisoned for five years – on 26 October, but will soon begin to serve two years’ internal exile in Sarbaz on the border with Pakistan.
In August 2013, Ebrahim was arrested with two others and taken to Evin Prison, Tehran, and later transferred to Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj. He was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of exile to Sarbaz, in the far south east of Iran, on charges of ‘propaganda against the Islamic Republic’, ‘launching and directing evangelism’ and ‘running a Christian website’.
After serving the one-year prison sentence and expecting to be released, Ebrahim was re-tried in March 2015 and convicted of ‘actions against national security’, ‘being present at an illegal gathering’ and ‘collusion with foreign entities’; he was sentenced to an additional five years in prison. In December 2018, while Ebrahim was still in prison, his mother died from cancer – he was not permitted to attend her funeral.
On 26 October, the head of Rajaei Shahr Prison wanted to send Ebrahim directly to exile in Sarbaz, but he was allowed temporary release to sort out personal affairs, including retrieving personal documents still held by Iranian intelligence.
Ebrahim says he is in good health and has been very happy to receive calls from friends. He aks for prayer for a friend in prison with urgent needs, and also prayer for himself, especially for patience when he begins to feel upset and angry.
Iranian Christians are thankful for Ebrahim’s release and ask for continued prayer for Ebrahim and all Iranian Christians who are being held in prison on charges related to their faith.
You can write to Ebrahim and three other Iranian Christians in Iran who are either in prison or awaiting trial until 18 November 2019 – your kind and encouraging words will mean so much to believers who are living through these uncertain and difficult circumstances.
Open Doors advocates for those who are imprisoned for their Christian faith in Iran and organises trauma care conferences for former prisoners who now live in another country in the region.
- For God to go before and behind Ebrahim in all things – especially as he enters this time of exile
- That Ebrahim will enjoy the opportunity to meet with family and friends before leaving for exile, that he will be able to find a place to rent and work in Sarbaz and that God will make it a place of blessing.