Iranian Christians face 80 lashes in communion case

By July 5, 2017

Iran (MNN/MEC) — Four Iranian Christians are being charged with threatening national security in Iran.

According to a press release from Middle East Concern, “Yasser, Saheb and Mohammadreza were arrested on 13th May 2016 with their pastor, Yousef, as they were celebrating communion.” In addition to the charges of threatening national security, Miles Windsor of Middle East Concern says the former three men “have been charged and sentenced with 80 lashes for drinking communion wine.”

Yet, Windsor also adds, “For Christians in Iran, it is legal for them to drink communion wine.” So why the charges? “The issue is they don’t recognize these men as Christians; they recognize them as Muslims.”

Sadly, this isn’t the only case of persecution against Muslim converts. “They are the ones largely facing this kind of pressure and this kind of persecution, and we’d certainly appreciate prayer.”

(Photo courtesy of Middle East Concern)

In fact, charges against Christian meetings, public and private, are nothing new. “It can seem as if [officials] have this paranoia that any gathering, any meeting of those who stand contrary to the political and religious nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran can be seen as a threat.

“My experience with Iranian believers is that they’re extraordinarily bold and they’re extraordinarily faithful,” Windsor says. “They persevere in the full knowledge of the situation that could become them for living as believers in Iran.”

In a recent hearing, “the local court officials had been unable to reach a verdict,” according to the Middle East Concern press release. Windsor explains, “During the hearing, the judge informed the men that within 20 days the court would issue a verdict relating to the charge of ‘acting against national security’ which has been made against them.”

In the meantime, keep these men in your prayers as they await a verdict this week. With strong pressure on the court system to convict them, now is the time for believers to stand in solidarity through prayer.

“We have a God who is sovereign and has authority even in Iran, so we’d appreciate prayer that a just verdict would be given and that these men would be allowed to go free,” Windsor says. He asks that we pray that “Iran would change and open up. Pray there would be opportunities for freedom for Christians and other religious minorities so they would have the freedom to live as Christ and honor God with their lives.”

4 Comments

  • Craig says:

    I am praying for the children, people, government and Christians in Iran as God leads me. I love Iran. I heard the cries from Iran.

    I am specifically going to pray for these Followers of Jesus as God directs me. May God keep them safe. Protect their families. Keep them strong in the faith. Let them love their enemies and pray for them that persecute them. May they be shining lights for Jesus.

    To Yasser, Saheb, Mohammadreza and Pastor Yousef….Stay strong! Don’t give up! Don’t be discouraged! Keep following Jesus! Pray for your persecutors! Love them! Tell others about Jesus! As God gives you opportunities! Never surrender!

    Share their stories on Social Media. Tell your government officials about them. Tell your friends and family and church about them. Pray for them!

    I Heard Their Cries From Iran, An American/Canadian from Ontario, Canada, A Follower of Jesus and A Voice For Change in Iran, Craig t

  • MKhattib says:

    Any kind of change in Iran is going to have to come from the Iranian people themselves and that means empowering dissident groups who support democracy, free elections and protecting the rights of women and religious minorities. It will take supporting the efforts of dissident groups to make a real difference within Iran. The U.S. would be better off not to try and nation build and instead focus on being a voice for human rights and focus our efforts there.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:17 Our light affliction is working for us a far more more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. God can weave the thirns of life into a crown of glory.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for these men in Iran who are trying to live as you would want them to live, partaking in communion together in the remembrance of Your death for them & us on the cross. Please allow a just verdict to be given to these brothers who are not afraid to live for you in a country where it could cost them their very lives. Please give them peace, comfort, and joy as they are threatened with physical harm for following Your Word in their lives. Dear Heavenly Father, please release these precious children of Yours & give them & their families strength during this very trying & tense week. Please be with them Father Jesus, In Your Holy & Magnificent name we pray~

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