Iranian Christians request prayer for Saheb, given 80 lashes for drinking the wine as part of Holy Communion.
Zaman Fadaei – known as Saheb – was arrested in Rasht in May 2016, along with his pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Nadarkhani’s wife Fatemeh (Tina) Pasandideh, Mohammad Ali (Yaser) Mosayebzadeh, and Mohammad Reza (Youhan) Omidi.
In September 2016, Saheb, Yaser and Youhan were sentenced to 80 lashes each for drinking wine during communion.
In June 2017, Saheb, Yaser and Youhan and Yousef Nadarkani were each given 10-year prison sentences for “acting against the national security through propagating house churches and promoting Zionist Christianity.” They started serving the sentences in 2018.
In May 2020, the sentences were reduced on review. Saheb and Yousef’s sentences to six years’ each and Youhan’s sentence to two years. Yaser’s situation is unknown.
Saheb was given the 80 lashes punishment on 15 November.
Youhan received his lashes in October, an act condemned by many international observers, including the U.S. State Department, which said in a Tweet:
“Deeply disturbed by reports Iran lashed Mohammad Reza Omidi 80 times for drinking communion wine. He already served two years in prison for belonging to a house church. We condemn these unjust punishments and urge Iran to allow all Iranians the freedom to practice their beliefs.”
Iranian Christians request prayer that:
- God will bring healing and consolation after this punishment and restore dignity
- Fellow prisoners in Evin will be able to care for Saheb and be of support at this time
- God will also support and comfort Saheb’s wife and children if they feel distress
- The Iranian authorities will change from being persecutors to promoters of religious freedom