Date: July 10, 2021
‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’ (2 Corinthians 3:17)
What an amazing promise! God’s presence is with us even in the darkest of places, and nothing can take away the freedom we have in Christ.
This week, pray this verse over three Christians in Iran, who received the maximum sentence of five years in prison for ‘engaging in propaganda against the Islamic regime.’ They were also fined 40 million tomans (approximately £6,900).
Amin Khaki, Milad Goudarzi and Alireza Nourmohammadi – who are from Muslim backgrounds – were convicted on 26 June under a new amendment to the Iranian penal code.
Under the amendment, which targets ‘sectarian activities’, groups that diverge from Shi’a Islam can be labelled by authorities as ‘wrong cults.’ This term is being extended to include conversion from Islam, as well as evangelical and reform movements.
‘The campaign of harassment against Iranian Christians is unrelenting’ – Mervyn Thomas
Mr Khaki, Mr Gouzardi and Mr Nourmohammadi were denied representation from their lawyer during the trial, even though he had fulfilled all the requirements for participation ten days in advance. They had no choice but to represent themselves.
Our Founder President Mervyn Thomas said, ‘The campaign of harassment against Iranian Christians is unrelenting, as these baseless charges against these three men, under a new clause in the penal code, demonstrate.’
As we pray for their release, be encouraged that only a few weeks ago, Professor Tarfa was acquitted of two false charges in Nigeria after much prayer and advocacy.
We trust that God will once again answer our prayers, so we cry out for the unjust ruling in Iran to be overturned.
In summary, please pray:
- For the acquittal and release of these three innocent men.
- That they would know the freedom of the Holy Spirit and the comfort of his presence, even when behind bars.
- For Iranian authorities to repeal this and similar laws, which violate the right to freedom of religion or belief.
- For God to protect religious minorities in Iran from further harassment – particularly those who have converted from Shi’a Islam.