[Middle East Concern] Two Iranian Christians arrested at a Christmas celebration in 2014 have been summoned to a court hearing this Sunday. Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz was seized at his home along with Amin Nader Afshar. They were subsequently released on bail but Amin Nader Afshar was then re-arrested last August during a picnic along with four others, including Pastor Victor’s son. Since his second arrest he has been kept in Evin prison in Tehran, as has one of those at the picnic, Hadi Askari.
Pastor Victor has been charged verbally with "conducting evangelism," "illegal house church activities" and "Bible printing and distribution." All those arrested in August have been charged with "acting against national security" and "organising and creating house churches." Ramiel Bet Tamraz faces additional charges of propagating the teaching of his father, Pastor Victor.
In April Pastor Victor and those arrested at the picnic were informed that they would soon be summoned for their hearing to receive a final verdict. Pastor Victor and Amin Nader Afshar’s hearing this Sunday is at the 26th Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The judge will be Mr Ahmad Por - known for the severity of his rulings. It has not yet been confirmed if the other men have been summoned to the same hearing.
Iranian Christians have requested prayer that :
- the hearing on 21st May will be concluded in favour of Pastor Victor and Amin Nader Afshar
- the Lord will grant them peace, strength and wisdom as they appear before the court
- the judge will reject the charges against Pastor Victor and Amin Nader Afshar and the other men waiting for a hearing, and acquit them all
- the two Christian converts Amin Nader Afshar and Hadi Askari will be released soon
- the Christians arrested will have their bail monies returned to them