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Re-arrested Iranian Christians face new charges

| by Anthony Marr

Iranian Christians request renewed prayer for Eskandar Rezaei and Soroush Saraei, Iranian believers who have faced a series of pressures over the past five years, following their re-arrest in July 2017.

Middle East Concern says Eskandar was arrested on July 6, 2017 at his home in Lar where several hundred New Testaments were discovered and confiscated. He is being held at Quran Branch of Adel-Aabad prison, Shiraz.

Soroush was also arrested in July. He was initially held at the intelligence offices before being transferred to Adel-Aabad prison.

Charges

Both Eskander and Soroush have been verbally charged with “acting against national security.” Soroush faces an additional charge of “forgery” for issuing letters as the pastor of the Church of Shiraz for students seeking exemption from Islamic studies classes. They are to attend court hearings soon to face these new charges.

In October 2012, Eskander and Soroush were arrested along with five other members of the self-styled ‘Church of Iran’ denomination in a raid on a prayer meeting in Shiraz. Both were released on bail in March 2013 and were formally convicted on July 16, 2013.

Eskander received a one-year sentence and Soroush two and half years. Following unsuccessful appeals in March 2014, they waited several months before being summoned to serve the sentences. Both were released before serving the sentences in full—Soroush in November 2015 and Eskander in December 2015.

Middle East Concern

Middle East Concern is a Christian organization that supports people in the Middle East and North Africa who are marginalized, discriminated against or persecuted for being or becoming Christians. It was founded in 1991, in response to needs expressed by Christian leaders in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Prayer request

 Iranian Christians request prayer:

• For Eskandar and Soroush to be released from prison soon

• That the judge will reject the charges against Eskandar and Soroush, and that they will both be acquitted

• That Eskandar and Soroush will be strengthened and encouraged by God's presence

• That those responsible for the persecution of Christians in Iran will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.



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