‘How lucky I am to have you beside me’—Iranian prisoner thanks Christians for praying

April 26, 2020 by Lindy Lowry in Middle East

One of the 11 Christians left in prison in Iran, Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh, recently shared a letter he wrote from his prison cell, thanking those who have prayed for and written to him. Fifty-eight-year-old Nasser is two years into serving a 10-year sentence for his membership in a Tehran house church.

Outside Evin Prison where Nasser and fellow believers are jailed.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak that had led to Iran releasing 80,000+ prisoners, including several Christians, Nasser is a political prisoner that remains in in Evin Prison (known as Iran’s “torture factory”). Since his sentence began, Nasser has written several heartfelt letters from his cell, always quoting from the letters of Paul.

In his letter (written in English), the modern-day Paul says that he “yearns” for the company of his fellow Christians from behind the “high and barbed walls of Evin Prison.”

“You are always in my prayers,” he says. “I thank God for the support you have showered me with.”

Below is his full letter:

“In the name of the Lord,
“Indeed you are our glory and our joy” (1 Thes. 2:20).

To all dear brothers and sisters, who are bestowed upon by God’s love and grace.
With greetings, while yearning your company from behind the high and barbed walls of Evin Prison. Having and cherishing the memories of the past, with a heart full of love, care and gratitude. I scribe what permeates from my heart to you.

I recall your pious gatherings with one mind and heart, and sing songs in glorifying the Lord in soul and heart.
I am amongst you. Walls and space do not keep me away, even though I hold the sorrow within contained; you are always in my prayers in a united love.

Nasser’s handwritten letter.

I thank God for the support that you have showered me with, for all my problems in prison which you have shared my burdens, giving me strength, and encouraging me continuously. How lucky I am to have you beside me.

Surely, I could not walk on my own; the Lord carries me on His feet with the warmth of your love through the hardship of this dungeon.

The prime message I heard was to love each other. May the Lord’s love and care be with you and keep you safe.

Who then can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, hardship or persecution, famine or nakedness, danger or death?” – Romans 8:35
With all my love and care,
Nasser Navard

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In February 2020, Nasser’s longstanding petition for a retrial was finally accepted, but the prison authorities continue to refuse him temporary leave, as well as seven other Christians, including three others whose cases are being reviewed.

Rights groups have called for the release of all prisoners of conscience, as coronavirus infections and deaths have been reported in several prisons.

Nasser has suffered several health issues, so his family are particularly concerned about him. Continue to pray with Nasser and the rest of our family still imprisoned in Iran. Pray that they would sense God’s peace and strength with them in their injustice. Pray for their physical, emotional and spiritual health. And pray for their ultimate release.

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