Rev. Hossein Soodmand was hanged in Mashad prison on the December 3rd 1990.Twenty years on Iranian Christians are remembering his brave stand for Christ. In a large church in central London, his daughter Rashin spoke at a memorial service on December 4th along with other ministers who served with him. On his release from a month in prison, when it was clear his case was extremely serious, it was suggested to Rev. Soodmand that he leave the country. This was his reply:
‘I am a follower of the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, and I am ready to sacrifice my soul for my sheep. For me to escape from this persecution, would cause the hearts of my flock to become cold and weak. And I never want to be a bad example for them. So I am ready to go to prison again and if, necessary to give my life.’
So he stayed, and paid the ultimate price. To see a full obituary of Rev. Soodmand, please click here.
Since his martyrdom at least five other Christian leaders have been killed for their faith, and countless others arrested and imprisoned. There are no signs of the hostility of the government to Christianity abating. Indeed the persecution has become more widespread. And so has the growth, even in Mashad.