From Middle East Concern
Friends and relatives of Suroush Saraie are pleased to announce that he was released from prison on Nov. 13.
Suroush Saraie and Mohammad Roghangir were arrested on July 5, 2014 in Bandar Azali in northern Iran. They were taken to prison in Shiraz in order to serve sentences handed down in July 2013.
Suroush and Mohammad were among seven arrested in Shiraz when a prayer meeting was raided on Oct. 12, 2012 as part of a wider campaign of intimidation by Iranian authorities against Christians and other religious minorities. Those arrested were affiliated with the self-styled “Church of Iran” network.
In July 2013 those arrested were convicted of “action against national security” and “propaganda against the order of the system.” Suroush was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and Mohammad received a sentence of six years. In July 2014 they started serving their sentences in Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz. The others, who were sentenced to terms varying from one to five years, were also summoned to prison in Shiraz over the following months.
Suroush and his family rejoice at his release, but former prisoners often continue to experience hardship. In some cases released prisoners have been pressurised by security officials to become informers. Many former prisoners suffer psychological trauma and struggle to find employment.
Iranian Christians request our prayers that:
· Suroush will quickly recover from his imprisonment and that he and his family will be strengthened in the Lord and adapt to normal family life
· Those who remain in prison, including Mohammad and the others from Shiraz, will be comforted and released soon
· All prisoners in Iran will be treated with respect and dignity as beings created in the image of God
· All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him
Iran is ranked #7 on the Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.