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Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ahmad Sarparast, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern www.meconcern.org
Morteza, Ahmad and Ayoub
Photo: Middle East Concern

Three Christian converts were arrested while attending a prayer meeting in the Iranian coastal city of Rasht on September 5th. Intelligence agents raided the meeting and took Morteza Mashhoudkari, Ayoub Poor-Rezazade and Ahmad Sarparast for interrogation.

Morteza and Ahmad were transferred to Lakan Prison on September 18th, and then released on bail three days later. The charges against them have not yet been announced. Although Ayoub's family members were informed that he had also been transferred to Lakan Prison, the other two Christians state that he never arrived at the facility. At last report, Ayoub remains missing, leaving his family and friends very concerned for his well-being.

Christians imprisoned in Iran frequently face horrific conditions. Over a dozen of these believers are known to be held captive in the notorious Evin Prison, which is located in the city of Tehran. Recent video footage that leaked from Tehran's prison shows inmates being subjected to physical and psychological torture, in addition to captured scenes of prisoners wrapped in blankets to stay warm during the colder temperatures. More information on the persecution of Christians in Iran is available at our country report.

Praise God that Morteza and Ahmad have been released on bail. Ask the Lord to fill these believers with courage and hope as they face the uncertainty of future charges. Please also pray for Ayoub's protection, along with his need for encouragement and strength. May his concerned family and friends experience God's reassuring peace as they await news of his whereabouts. Continue to prayerfully uphold all those who are currently serving time in prisons across Iran simply because of their faith in Christ.

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. VOMC is also working with partners to provide the Theology of Persecution course in Farsi to train Iranian believers to provide a proper theological perspective and understanding of persecution from a Biblical point of view.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information


85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

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

Religion (%)
Islam (99.4), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.3)

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

  • Prisoner Located and Since Released on Bail
    Ayoub Poor-Rezazade - Photo: Middle East Concern
    Ayoub Poor-Rezazade
    Photo: Middle East Concern

    In the Persecution & Prayer Alert that VOMC published on September 30th, it was reported that three Christians had been arrested while attending a prayer meeting in Rasht, Iran, on September 5th. The report had mentioned that two of the believers were r

  • Proposed Law Leads to Concerns
    Underground house church - Photo: VOM USA
    Pray for creative solutions as Iranian believers spread the Gospel.
    Photo: VOM USA

    Finding encouragement in the Christian faith can be especially difficult in a country like Iran, where tight government controls prevent followers of Christ from meeting together. In recent years, modern technology cr

  • Presidential Election Brings Concerns
    Ebrahim Raisi
    President Ebrahim Raisi
    Photo: Mehr News Agency (cc)

    The recent election of Ebrahim Raisi as president of Iran has led to concerns for those monitoring religious freedom in the country. The election has been discredited by many since reformers or moderates were banned from running for the position