Rev. Asserian released: church remains closed

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Rev. Robert Asserian was released on Tuesday 2 July following six weeks’ imprisonment in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. However, whilst the pastor is no longer incarcerated, he will remain under the close surveillance of the authorities, and therefore he cannot be considered to be completely free.

Robert Asserian, an associate pastor at the Central Assemblies of God church in Tehran, was arrested on the morning of 21 May 2013 when he arrived at the church to lead a regular prayer meeting. Since that time the church, which had been under increasing pressure from the authorities prior to the arrest, has not held any services or activities. The church was the largest Protestant church in Iran prior to its closure.

Rev. Sam Yeghnazar, founder of Elam Ministries said, “We thank God for the life of Robert and for his recent release. However, while he is now physically free, he will be closely monitored and his activities will almost certainly be severely limited. We pray for Robert’s healing, we pray that the authorities will soon come to the realisation that the church poses no political threat whatsoever to them, and we pray that this escalating persecution will cease. The church sadly remains closed and I would imagine that the regime believes they have struck a big blow to the church in Iran through their recent actions. However, whilst the authorities are able to shut down a church building, I am certain that the church in Iran will not be crushed: rather it will keep on growing. Jesus promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it (Matthew 16:18).”

Pray for

• Pastor Asserian's recovery
• The church members who can no longer meet together
• A decrease in the intensity of persecution under the next President

For enquires please contact Chrissy Taylor, at Elam Ministries on +44 (0)1483 791350, or email