Date: August 29, 2020
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.’ Isaiah 61:1b
Throughout the Bible we read of how important freedom is to God. Most importantly, of course, he gives us freedom from the burden of sin through Jesus Christ. But he also sets free those who are in a physical prison, and this week we are glad to be able to tell you of yet another example of that!
Iranian Christian Mohammadreza Omidi (Yuhan) was finally released from prison on 18 August. He had finished serving 24 months of a reduced ten-year sentence for national security-related charges in July 2020. However, along with Pastor Nadarkhani, he was originally sentenced to an additional two years’ internal exile. We are awaiting clarity on whether or not he will have to serve this sentence.
Mr Omidi was one of four Christians arrested in 2016 during a series of raids on Christian homes, in which Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Deacon Saheb Fadaie and Yasser Mossayebzadeh were also arrested.
Pastor Nadarkhani, Mr Fadaie and Mr Mossayebzadeh remain in prison, and – as you may remember from our update a couple of weeks ago – we’re concerned about the unchecked spread of COVID-19 in Iranian prisons.
P.S. Thank you so much for your prayers for Iranian pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and his wife Shamiram Isavi, who were both facing lengthy prison sentences. They are now in a safe place outside Iran – we will update you soon.
In summary, please pray:
- Thank God that Mohammadreza Omidi has finally been released from prison, and pray that he will not have to face the two years of internal exile.
- Pray that the authorities would take decisive steps to control the spread of COVID-19 in the country’s prison system.
- Thank God for delivering Victor Bet-Tamraz and Shamiram Isavi, and pray for the safety of their son Ramiel and his family, who remain in Iran