Dozens of Christians in Iran spent Christmas behind bars. Their crime? Their faith in Jesus. One of the prisoners was husband and father Rasoul Abdollahi.
Rasoul was arrested in Tehran at the same time as Farshid Fathi and dozens of others, in a mass crackdown by Intelligence agents at Christmas 2010. He was illegally detained for over two months whilst enduring interrogations, before being released on bail. He was then left in limbo for years, unsure what his future would hold. Then in 2013 he was finally brought to trial, where he was convicted of evangelism and ‘action against national security’, a vague catch-all ‘crime’ that Iran applies to many groups that are deemed to be threats. His sentence for his supposed misdemeanors is 3 years, which he began serving in Evin prison in early December 2013. Since he is being held in the same ward as Farshid, let us pray that they will be a great encouragement to each other and that the Lord would give them, and all those imprisoned, the strength to endure.
Despite the dangers that Christians face in Iran, they continue to meet and worship God in fellowship. The church continues to stand firm, even to grow, in the midst of persecution. The next time you go to church, do pray for both those in Iran who risk a great deal to meet with other believers.
• Rasoul’s release, peace and welfare
• All the other Christians currently in prison
• Courage for Christians in their fellowships and ministries