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Pray in a more informed way for the Church in Iran and for Iranian believers.

PRAY FOR IRAN

Pray in a more informed way for the Church in Iran and for Iranian believers.

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Suffering But Growing Church

Arrest of grey haired Rev Issavi - intimidation, or paranoia?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

According to the FCNN website security agents arrested Rev Wilson Issavi while he was visiting old friends in a suburb of Isfahan on February 2nd. Neither friends nor family know his present whereabouts. Rev. Issavi is the long term serving pastor of the Assyrian Evangelical Church (a member of the Presbyterian denomination) in Kermanshahr, a city in the mid west of the country. He is responsible for an ageing church building in need of repair. Since the first election of President Ahmadinejad there has been a policy of intimidation towards Protestant Christians, whereby activists are arrested, and usually released, as a warning. It might be that Rev Issavi’s arrest is the latest in this pattern. However given that Rev. Issavi is an Assyrian Christian from an ancient community (i.e. not an apostate) and has served his church with impeccable respect for all the laws of the Islamic Republic there is another possibility. Perhaps paranoia has crept into the minds of some security officials, for the idea that this grey haired, unassuming pastor is a threat to Iran’s international security verges on the absurd. Whether intimidation or absurd paranoia, the harsh reality is that this faithful priest is now locked up in Iran’s opaque prison system and deserves both passionate intercession and courageous representation from the international church for his freedom –and all others whose religious liberty is threatened.
Pray for

Immediate release of Rev. Issavi
Comfort for his friends and family
Christian politicians to raise issue of religious freedom with Iran

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