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Mehdi "Petros" Foroutan

Mehdi "Petros" Foroutan, 27, has been in prison since September 25. He is currently serving a one year sentence for crimes against national security (for more information, click here). He was charged with this "crime" because he was evangelizing to Muslims. On October 17, Petros was put into solitary confinement. Thankfully, he has since been returned to the general area of the prison. Petros and four other Christians were arrested back in April and charged with blasphemy against Islam. The judge ruled that they were not guilty, but the prosecutor has appealed this verdict. Therefore, Petros is still awaiting a second trial for blasphemy.

Behnam Irani

Meanwhile, the prison sentence of Behnam Irani, 41, an Iranian church leader, has been extended by five years. The extension of his one-year sentence for "propaganda against the regime" was issued on October 18, three days before his scheduled release from prison. Behnam was arrested in April 2010 following a raid on his home in Karaj where approximately 10 young men newly converted to Christianity had gathered for fellowship and Bible study (for more information, click here). According to local sources, there is concern that he may be charged with apostasy.

Please ask the Lord to comfort and strengthen these two men. Pray that Petros and Behnam will keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, persevere in their faith, and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; 12:1-3). Ask the Lord to protect them while in prison and pray for their release. Pray also for the prison guards.

To learn more about suffering Iranian believers, please visit the Iran Country Report.

Current Ministry Fund

By funding television broadcasts, VOMC is making it possible for a vast audience of viewers to be reached throughout Iran with the "Good News" of Jesus' love via satellite.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information


85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes

Religion (%)
Islam (99.6), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.2)

President Ebrahim Raisi (2021)

Government type
Theocratic republic

Legal system
Religious legal system based on secular and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Iran

As the Gospel message goes forth over the airwaves, may the growth of the church continue to multiply despite persecution. Pray that the Iranian government will be open to change, allowing full rights and protection for its non-Muslim citizens as well. In the meantime, may those who are forced to flee the country find safe refuge and help so they can live in peace and worship the Lord with freedom.


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Iran News

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    Anooshavan Avedian
    Anooshavan Avedian
    Photo: Article18

    An Iranian-Armenian Christian leader has been sentenced to ten years in prison for promoting "propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam" through the house church he operated in his home. The 60-year-old believer, Anooshavan Avedian, was a

  • Christian Woman Now Facing Two-Year Sentence
    Silhouette of a woman, prison bars

    In July 2021, Fariba Dalir was arrested along with five other Christian converts, including her husband-to-be, Soroush. While awaiting trial, all six believers were ultimately released on bail – Fariba on November 18th and the others in October. While out on bail, Fariba and Soroush were married.

  • Retrial Request Denied
    Brother Naser
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    Last month, it was reported that the prison sentence for Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was to be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Iran (read more). Naser was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly "acting against national se

  • Prison Sentence to be Reviewed by the Supreme Court
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh - Photo: Middle East Concern
    Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    On June 24th of 2016, 30 intelligence police agents raided an engagement party near Tehran, Iran. Everyone who attended the celebration was detained, including three visiting Christians from Azerbaijan. Most were released from custody, except for the