Iranian Christians request prayer for four Christian converts who, following an appeal court hearing last Wednesday, 13th December 2017, are waiting for the court’s decision.
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh, and Saheb Fadaie are appealing 10-year prison sentences received on 6th July 2017 for propagating house churches and promoting “Zionist Christianity”. Yousef and Mohammadreza have also been sentenced to two years’ internal exile; Yousef in Nik Shahr and Mohammadreza in Borazjan. Both of these locations are in the south of the country, far away from their families in Rasht.
All four defendants attended the appeal hearing at the Revolutionary Court in Tehran in front of two judges, Mr. Babaei and Mr. Zargar. During the hearing, their lawyer presented both a written and a short verbal defence. The court required a supplementary bill and written defence to be submitted. Once this document is received, the court will announce its definitive decision confirming or rejecting the previous verdict.
As they were taking communion at the time of their arrest, on 13th May 2016, Yasser, Saheb and Mohammadreza faced separate charges of consumption of alcohol. On 10th September 2016, they were sentenced to 80 lashes each. Their appeal against this sentence remains outstanding.
Iranian Christians request prayer that:
- the appeal against the verdict will be successful, and the four men will be acquitted
- the sentence of 80 lashes will also be overturned
- the Revolutionary Court and judges will stop intimidating Christian converts, and will respect the right of all in Iran to freedom of religion
- the families of all four men would know the peace of God during such difficult times
- all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him