Iranian Christians request prayer for pastor Abdolreza (Matthias) Haghnejad and his family after he was rearrested to serve a sentence that had been overturned in 2014.
Matthias was released from Anzali Prison near Rasht on 30 December after the Iranian Supreme Court ordered a review of the five-year prison sentences against nine Christian converts from Rasht. On 15 January Matthias was summoned to court, arrested and transferred back to Anzali Prison to serve a six-year sentence.
In Spring 2014 the Karaj Revolutionary Court had sentenced Matthias, Behnam Irani and Reza (Silas) Rabbani to six years in prison each for “acting against the security of the country by forming a group and propagating Christianity outside the church and in the house church and giving information to the enemies of Islam.” These sentences were overturned on appeal in December 2014.
In prison Matthias has learned that the judicial head of the court in Karaj had overturned the 2014 appeal, saying that Matthias, Behnam, and Silas are enemies of the state and the sentences are still in force.
A close friend of Matthias is concerned about the emotional impact on both him and his family after experiencing a short time of freedom together and then unexpectedly being separated by prison again in this cruel fashion.
Iranian Christians request prayer for Matthias and his family:
- That God will comfort them at this time of great disappointment and distress
- That a suitable lawyer will be found to contest these previous prison sentences that had already been successfully appealed in 2014.
- That the ridiculous situation of having an appeal decision overturned in this fashion will be recognised, corrected and that Matthias will be freed
- That the Iranian authorities will stop the persecution of Christian converts and other faith communities