Iranian Christians request continued prayer for three Christians appealing sentences. A court hearing was scheduled for Sunday 4 February to review the sentences against Assyrian pastor Victor Bet Tamraz and Christian converts, Amin Nader Afshari and Hadi Asgari. However the hearing was postponed, and a new date has yet to be given.
Pastor Victor is appealing a 10-year sentence, issued on 4 July 2017, for “acting against national security.” Amin Afshar Naderi has been sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment and Hadi Asgari to ten years, both on the same charge. Hadi remains detained in Evin prison, having been refused bail by the Court of Appeal. Amin and Hadi have been under intense pressure to convert back to Islam, but they remain firm in their faith.
Separately, pastor Victor’s wife, Shamiram, is awaiting an appeal hearing as she contests a five-year prison sentence imposed on 6 January.
Iranian Christians are thankful for the prayerful interest in this case and the support of church leaders in Iran for pastor Victor. They request prayer that:
- the court of appeal will seriously reconsider the harsh sentences against the three men
- Hadi will be released from prison soon, and will know the Lord’s healing
- God will strengthen and encourage these believers and their families to stand firm in their witness to Christ, and give his wisdom in dealing with the Iranian authorities
- pressure from international bodies and governments, as well as pressure from within Iran, will lead to these men’s rights being upheld, and the rights of all Iranian citizens to religious freedom to be respected.