Date:  October 16, 2021

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:7-8)

This psalm reminds us of the closeness of God our helper. As we reach out to him, we know that he will uphold and support us through his great love and faithfulness.

Pray that God will uphold Professor Tarfa, the Du Merci children, and three Iranian church leaders this week.

Iran: Three church leaders released on bail

On the evening of 5 September, three leaders from the Church of Iran denomination were arrested when secret police agents raided the house where they were meeting. It happened in the northern city of Rasht, where Christians, and particularly converts, have faced intense harassment at the hands of the Iranian authorities for several years.

Two of the leaders – Morteza Mashhoudkari and Ahmad Sarparast – were released on bail of 400 million tomans (approximately £69,400) on 21 September. Twelve days later, the third leader, Ayoub Pourrezade, was also released on bail of 400 million tomans.

While we give thanks that all three have now been released, none of these men should ever have been arrested in the first place. Join us in praying for all charges against them to be dropped.

Nigeria: An update on Professor Tarfa’s trial

You may remember that the trial of Professor Richard Solomon Musa had been adjourned until 6 October to allow time for the defence to produce witnesses to support his innocence; Professor Tarfa is accused of forging a certificate of registration he had acquired for the Du Merci Centre from the Kano state Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development.

On 6 October Professor Tarfa and a witness from his bank presented evidence showing he had paid for the certificate, which illustrated that the accusations of forgery are unsubstantiated. After both were cross-examined, the trial was adjourned until 23 November.

As well as praying for Professor Tarfa’s full acquttial, please pray for the return of all the children who were seized from the Du Merci orphanages in December 2019. They have spent almost two years away from the people they know as parents, and several are deeply traumatised.

In summary, please pray:

  • Giving thanks that Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ahmad Sarparast and Ayoub Pourrezade have now been released, and asking for all charges to be dropped.
  • For the immediate, unconditional release of Christians and other religious minorities in Iran who are detained on similarly spurious charges.
  • That justice prevails on 23 November so that Professor Tarfa will be acquitted of this final false charge.
  • That the 16 children who remain in the hands of the Kano state authorities will be returned quickly to the Tarfas.
  • For God to sustain, uphold and bring healing to the whole Tarfa family after such a lengthy, traumatic ordeal