Ongoing Persecution, Ongoing Openness‏

Pray for Prisoners

From Elam:

Dear Friends,

Since the large wave of arrests of Christians over the Christmas period 2010, many have been released. However, at least ten believers are still in prison, including one recently arrested in Kermanshah. Please see below for the names of those still in prison. Family and friends have expressed their heart-felt gratitude to Christians who are praying for them.  They ask for continued intercession.

Prayer is also needed for those who have been released from prison.  Though out of jail, they are not free. They live with intimidation. Their families have been forced to hand over the title deeds to their homes as bail. They are closely watched; their phones tapped; their emails read. If there is any suspicion of their engaging in any Christian activity, they risk arrest and imprisonment again. And they face a gruelling court case. Until their case is heard, which could take years, their lives are in limbo.

Another important item for prayer is that the Bible continues to flood Iran. Despite the persecution, Scriptures are still being given out – and Iranians continue to receive them with real joy and gratitude (see below).

Prayer is needed for the safe arrival and distribution of the Scriptures, especially as the authorities are intent on stopping the spread of Christianity. It is deeply disturbing that the Iranian government has condemned Terry Jones for publicly burning one Koran (an action Elam has no sympathy with), while continuing to burn hundreds of Bibles. We would ask all believers to petition the Iranian government not only to stop burning Bibles, but also to allow the Scriptures to be freely available for all Iranians.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

The Bible in my own language, I will treasure it forever

Last month Mehdi was sitting in his carpet shop in Isfahan when a Christian came in. They started chatting and when the Christian was leaving he gave Mehdi a gift -wrapped New Testament. The Christian left the shop and started walking down the street. A moment later Mehdi began running after him. The Christian was afraid. He feared Mehdi was a fanatic who was going to try and take him to the police. He was completely wrong. Mehdi approached him with a face full of joy, “I have never received anything more beautiful in all my life – The Bible in my own language. I will treasure it forever.”

Pray the gift of the New Testament will help Mehdi find the gift of salvation.

Update on Hamed and Mohammad, victims of frostbite

Thank you for praying.  Hamed (22) was told he would lose all his left foot, but only lost his big toe.  Sadly Mohammad (19) has had both his feet amputated.  Thankfully they saved his ankles. However he is grateful that he did not lose both his legs, as the doctors had originally warned.  We will bring you the full story later.

Christians still in prison

Yousef Nadarkhani sentenced to death.
Vahik Abrahamian and his wife Sonia;
Arash Kermanjani and his wife Arezoo held in Hamadan.
Noorollah Ghabitizadeh held in Defzool.
Farshid Fathi held in Tehran.
Zohre Taslim held in Mashad.
Abrahim Firouzi held in Robat-Karim.
Masoud Delijani held in Kermanshah.