Iranian Christians still waiting to hear if they’ll be whipped
Three other Iranian Christians – Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammad Reza Omidi – are still waiting to hear if they have won their appeal against a sentence of 80 lashes for drinking communion wine. A second case against them relating to crimes against ‘national security’ has yet to come to court; judges in Rasht have now referred the case to Tehran. Pray they will be acquitted on all counts. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
Next time you take communion at church spare a thought – and a prayer – for three Christians in Iran who may be whipped as a punishment for taking communion wine.
The men have appealed against the sentence but if their appeal fails they will receive 80 lashes each.
The lawyer for Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammad Reza Omidi attended a hearing on Thursday during which they made their appeal against the brutal sentence handed down in September. Please pray that the appeal judge will overturn their sentence when he gives his verdict expected within 20 days.
The three men were arrested in Rasht in May as they celebrated communion. Their lawyer insists it is not illegal in Iran for Christians to drink wine, only Muslims. The three men have a Muslim background.
The three have also been charged with ‘acting against national security’. Iranian officials have threatened further charges if the men meet together or share the gospel with others.
Meanwhile, Christian converts Amin Nader Afshar and Hadi Askary have gone on hunger strike inside Tehran’s Evin Prison unless they receive adequate medical care and a fair trial soon. Hadi is reported to have a kidney infection which has not been treated.
They have been behind bars since their arrest last August, at a picnic in Firuzkuh, but have not yet been charged, despite weeks of interrogation. The other three men arrested with them posted substantial bail and were released.
- Pray that the appeal judge will scrap the earlier sentence against Yaser, Saheb and Mohammad. Pray that no other charges will be brought against them.
- Pray that God will protect and heal Amin and Hadi. Amin’s hunger strike has caused his blood pressure to drop dramatically. Pray that they and their three friends will be tried and acquitted soon.
- Pray that every Christian behind bars in Iran will know that God will prove wrong every false word spoken against them (Isaiah 54:17).
(Source: Middle East Concern)
Iranian Christians Mohammed Roghangir and Massoud Rezai have been prevented from gaining early release from jail on good behaviour. Arrested at a prayer meeting in Shiraz in 2012, Mohammed and Massoud were sentenced to six and five years respectively for ‘action against national security’. A recent appeal by the men for early release was apparently blocked by Iranian intelligence.
Also in Iran, three house church members – Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammed Reza Omidi (known as Youhan) – have just been sentenced to 80 lashes each for drinking communion wine. They plan to appeal. The three Christians from Rasht and their pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, are due to appear in court on October 15 charged with ‘action against national security’. (Source: Middle East Concern).
Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammed Reza Omidi have been released on bail. Pray for their exoneration.