Iranian Christians are thankful for prayer for the 8 March appeal hearing for Eskandar Rezaie and Suroush Saraie. It was reported that the hearing went well, lasting nearly two hours, and that Eskander and Suroush were given the opportunity to respond to all the allegations. The judge, Mr. Hosseinpour, is expected to give a verdict within twelve days. days.
Both Eskander and Suroush have been charged with “acting against national security.” Suroush faced an additional charge of “forgery,” as the pastor of the Church of Shiraz, for issuing letters for the children of Christian converts seeking exemption from Islamic classes at school.
Following a court hearing on 28 December 2017 at the 4th branch of the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, Eskandar Rezaie and Suroush Saraie were each sentenced to seven years in prison for “actions against national security” and one year for “propaganda against order in the Islamic Regime”.
Eskandar was arrested on 6 July 2017, at his home in Lar. He was held at the Quran Branch of Adel-Abad prison in Shiraz until he was conditionally released on bail of 500 million Toman (approximately USD 140,000) on 25 September 2017. Suroush was also arrested in July 2017. He was initially held at the intelligence offices before also being transferred to Adel-Abad prison. He was released on bail of 350 million Toman (approximately USD 95,000) on 18 October 2017.
Both Eskander and Suroush were previously arrested in October 2012, and released after several years in prison. .
Iranian Christians are thankful for the positive impression given during the appeal hearing but request prayer:
- that Eskandar and Suroush, and their families will be strengthened and encouraged by God’s presence and peace
- that the appeal judge, Mr. Hosseinpour, will reject the charges against Eskandar and Suroush, and that they will both be acquitted and released from prison
- that those responsible for the persecution of Christians in Iran will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him