Suffering But Growing Church

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...
Monday, September 30th, 2013
The world’s most famous evangelical Christian, 94 year old Dr. Billy Graham, has added his voice to the campaign for the release of Iranian Christian Saeed Abedini from Evin Prison, Tehran. Let us pray that high profile voices like Dr. Graham’s will help secure freedom for Saeed Abedini, Farshid Fathi, and the nearly forty other Christians reported to be behind bars for their faith. Dr. Graham wrote to Iran’s...
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
An Iranian family is exhausted by the social and economic oppression in Iran. They decide to leave and go illegally to Europe. All is going well until their smuggler suddenly abandons them whilst they are en route in Turkey: the family soon falls into the hands of the Turkish police and all seems lost. Held for days in a dismal asylum camp, the family is depressed and feeling hopeless. Then, just as the family...
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
At least 13 Christians have been arrested across Tabriz, Isfahan and Tehran in the past six weeks.  The charges against the individuals remain unknown. A crackdown on Christian converts in Tabriz began last month when three men, Farshid Modares, Aval Samad Kazemi and Hamid Reza, were arrested on July 10th following raids on their homes.  Fellow believer Yashar Farzin No was arrested the following day and Mohammad...
Tuesday, August 06th, 2013
Hassan was a fire safety officer in a huge factory and a Christian. He witnessed to at least eighty people in the factory, including, Masoud, a co-worker who responded and began coming to work wearing a cross. This infuriated his manager. Angrily he told Masoud either he take the cross off, or be demoted. Masoud replied: "I am ready to work where you send me. I prefer being demoted to taking off my cross." Masoud...
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...
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Rev. Robert Asserian remains imprisoned over three weeks after his arrest in Tehran. The central Assemblies of God church, where Robert served as an associated leader, remains closed with a sign on the door declaring that the church is ‘closed for essential repairs’. On May 21 Rev. Asserian was arrested when he arrived to lead a prayer meeting at the central Assemblies of God church in Iran’s capital city. The...
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Why I wrote out the Gospel of John: inspiring video at elam.com (Click to watch) If you had no Bibles for evangelism, would you write out Scriptures by hand? What if you could be executed for doing so? "Why I wrote out the Gospel of John" is a new, inspiring 6-minute video that tells of a young Iranian girl’s obedience and witness in Iran, even after her father had been martyred. This powerful story reminds us of...
Thursday, May 02nd, 2013
In a Middle Eastern hotel in the balmy heat of early summer, a big, burly man named Akbar gives a moving testimony. Akbar bravely shares about his past lifestyle of promiscuity, violence and addiction, and the consequent rejection he suffered at the hands of his family, and especially his father. A hushed gathering hears how, broken and alone, Akbar called out to Jesus in a moment of utter desperation. Because of...
Tuesday, April 02nd, 2013
Pastor Farshid Fathi has now been detained for more than two years and three months: that’s more than 822 days spent inside Iran’s brutal Evin prison. With no signs that the Iranian government will be lenient and shorten the unjust six-year sentence handed down for simply practicing his Christian faith, Elam is continuing advocacy efforts to secure an early release for Farshid. The Free Farshid Campaign has kicked...

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