On 27 July Hamed Ashouri turned himself in to begin his prison sentence for “propaganda against the regime” at Karaj Central Prison. In a short video he made before going to prison Hamed said, “I’m thankful for the persecution and thank God that Jesus Christ counted me worthy to choose me as his child.”
Hamed was arrested in February 2019, when Iranian security raided his home and confiscated all items related to Christianity as well as his computer hard drives. He was detained in Ghezel Hesar Prison and offered inducement to become an informant. When he refused, he was beaten.
He was released in March 2019, with no further action taken until he was summoned to the Fourth Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj on 7 March 2021 to answer charges of “propaganda against the regime.” On 12 April he received a 10-month prison sentence, which was upheld on appeal. Hamed was initially given ten days to report to prison but was permitted extra time.
Another Christian convert, Reza Zaeemi, is serving a nine-month sentence in the same prison for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic by promoting evangelical Christianity.”
Iranian Christians request prayer that:
- God will strengthen and encourage Hamed and Reza, as well as any other Christians in the prison, and help them bless the other inmates
- God will grant them His peace that surpasses all understanding
- The Iranian authorities will stop their persecution of Christian converts and other religious communities