Suffering But Growing Church

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
In October, three more Christian prisoners were moved from Evin prison to the more brutal Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. This follows Farshid Fathi’s unexplained move to Rajai Shahr in August, and Saeed Abedini’s transfer in November 2013.  Let’s pray for these brothers to be protected and given comfort and courage in their new situation. Rasoul Abdollahi, Alireza Seyyedian and Ebrahim Firouzi were transferred, along...
Thursday, October 30th, 2014
This month, a senior advisor to President Rouhani has stated publicly that Iran has a zero-tolerance policy toward evangelism. "We, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, do not allow any individual or group to invite people to other sects or religions,” said Ali Younesi, Rouhani’s advisor on Ethnic and Religious Minorities' Affairs in an interview with the hard-line Iranian news service, Fars.  Iran’s stance on...
Friday, October 03rd, 2014
Iranians live in a closed land. Converting away from Islam is forbidden. But the Gospel is reaching many open hearts. Leila is one young lady whose encounter with the Bible started her on her journey to faith in Christ: “As a teenager I observed all my religious duties. My family was Muslim, so I wanted to be a good Muslim too. Things began to change when I was at university, where I decided to learn more about...
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Christian prisoner Farshid Fathi was moved from Evin prison (Tehran) to Rajai Shahr prison* in nearby Karaj on Tuesday 19 August. The reason for this sudden move is unknown.  He is detained in an open cell with hardened criminals and drug addicts. In this tense atmosphere he asks for prayers for his safety. Farshid’s relocation follows the transfer of other Evin inmates to Rajai Shahr on Saturday 16 August,...
Friday, August 01st, 2014
Fara, a house church Christian, was on a bus travelling between two cities in the north of Iran. Another passenger, Maryam, began to feel unwell, and then suddenly dropped from her seat. She had fainted. There was a commotion. The driver stopped, and in the rush of panicking voices the decision was made to send for a doctor. This was Fara’s moment. She got up from her seat and made her way to where the sick woman...
Friday, August 01st, 2014
Fara, a house church Christian, was on a bus travelling between two cities in the north of Iran. Another passenger, Maryam, began to feel unwell, and then suddenly dropped from her seat. She had fainted. There was a commotion. The driver stopped, and in the rush of panicking voices the decision was made to send for a doctor. This was Fara’s moment. She got up from her seat and made her way to where the sick woman...
Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Our imprisoned brother Farshid Fathi has sent a further letter from Evin prison, reflecting on the Lord’s faithfulness even in difficult times. “In each of our lives, there are nights: nights of loneliness, nights of nightmare, nights of fever and pain, endless nights of prison, nights of missing, nights of hard-breathing and some scary, unexplainable nights in our lives... For those who are living in this world,...
Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
A graduate of Elam’s three-month course recently shared his testimony with an Elam team-member. God is growing his church in miraculous ways, and truly transforming lives. “I lay in a hospital bed bleeding critically,” recalls Masoud, “I had been stabbed five times in a fight I had started. Underage, I needed my parents to come and authorize the surgery I needed. But they did not come.  My life was hanging in the...
Thursday, June 05th, 2014
This year, Christians in Iran have continued to face harsh, brutal and persistent persecution. Many prisoners have faced unbelievably brutal abuse; numerous Christians have been newly arrested; various Christians have been sentenced and are waiting to begin serving time. At least 60 Christians are detained in Iran because of their faith: some are serving court-issued sentences and some are in illegal pre-trial...
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
Mojdeh and Sepideh were very close friends throughout high school.  But when both girls left school and got married fifteen years ago, with no internet and no mobile phones available, they sadly lost contact.  Mojdeh always wished they had managed to stay in touch. One day Mojdeh saw a leaflet for a hair salon as she walked down a street in her hometown.  She picked it up, and decided to make an appointment- she...
Tuesday, May 06th, 2014
Christian prisoner Farshid Fathi is being cruelly denied permission to return to hospital to receive further treatment for his broken foot. His injury was sustained during a violent attack on the prisoners of ward 350 of Evin prison on Thursday April 17 2014. After being injured on what is now known as ‘Black Thursday’, Farshid was denied treatment for three agonising days before being taken to hospital on Easter...
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Last Thursday (April 17) prison guards attacked and beat over 30 prisoners, including Farshid Fathi, in ward 350 of Evin prison, Tehran. The reason for the attack is still not clear, but certainly it was violent and illegal. Farshid went to help one of the injured inmates, but he was stopped by one of the guards who stamped on Farshid’s bare foot with his heavy boot. Farshid sustained a broken foot and toe.  Though...
Thursday, April 03rd, 2014
Yousef was homeless by the time he was 15. A painful childhood, full of broken relationships, had spiralled into rejection and despair. He hit rock bottom and attempted suicide. But having somehow survived, he turned instead to cigarettes and alcohol to ease his pain. Addiction quickly took hold and dragged him down into harder drugs. For nine years he battled with heroin, opium, crack cocaine, and crystal meth....
Monday, March 03rd, 2014
Two leaders of the Assemblies of God church of Ahvaz, Shahnaz Jayzan and Davoud Alijani, were released from prison during January. Will you join us in praying for them as they recover from their ordeal and make plans for their next steps? Davoud was released from Karoun prison on January 13th and Shahnaz from Sepidar prison on January 28th after being imprisoned on 1 May 2013. Davoud reflected on his incarceration...
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
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...
Friday, January 10th, 2014
Anyone would have said that Afshin had it made. He was a celebrated player on Iran’s youth soccer team. He got to travel the world and represent his country on the pitch. But things were not all they seemed. Afshin was broken inside, and he was experimenting with drugs. Soon he became addicted to heroin: he was dropped from the team and his life fell apart. Afshin was sleeping rough on the streets in a European...
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
On the third anniversary of his imprisonment in Iran, we will be praying for Farshid's release and for ongoing strength for him and his family. Will you join with us on December 26th, 2013 as we pray? On Boxing Day, united prayer will rise up for Farshid, and the many other imprisoned Iranian Christians whom he represents. Three years after his imprisonment, we are calling on thousands to pray for Farshid Fathi's...
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
He was a rich, young gold trader in his city’s bazaar. By the age of 20 he had achieved more success than most would see in a lifetime. Ali could afford all of life’s ‘pleasures’. He did whatever he pleased, and soon he was a chain-smoking alcoholic who was addicted to opium and marijuana. High on whatever drug was humming in his head, he was charming and popular. Making deals was easy. Every day there were...
Wednesday, November 06th, 2013
Last week two Christians were flogged in Iran. Their crime? Consuming alcohol. They had been arrested while celebrating the Lord’s Supper. Two others are also awaiting the same punishment. The level of Christian persecution in Iran remains patently dire. We continue to thank God for the courage of our brothers and sisters and pray for their ongoing strength. Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi...
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Christian pastor Farshid Fathi has certainly known suffering, but he prefers not to focus on it. Though he has been behind bars in Tehran’s Evin Prison since December 2010, he knows his trials are not comparable to what many others have endured. He has never complained to friends and family about his ordeal, but has counted it a privilege to be persecuted for Christ. Recently Farshid Fathi heard about a story on...

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