From Middle East Concern
On Dec. 26, 2014 Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz, a former leader of the Tehran Pentecostal Assyrian Church, was arrested at his home along with guests gathered for a Christmas celebration. Security agents who conducted the raid on his home stated that they were arresting the individuals because they were “participating in an illegal gathering.”
Although most of the guests were released shortly afterwards, Pastor Victor (who is from an Assyrian Christian background) and two other believers, Amin and Kavian (from Muslim backgrounds), were charged with conducting illegal evangelism. They were taken to Evin Prison where they were kept mainly in solitary confinement until bail conditions were set for their conditional release; Amin on Feb. 10, Kavian on Feb. 17 and Pastor Victor on March 2.
Pastor Victor is expected to be summoned to court soon for his case to be heard.
Pastor Victor has experienced difficulty in finding a lawyer willing to act as his defense counsel. Some lawyers have experienced a backlash after representing Christians in court and Victor is well known as the former pastor of Shahr-Ara Assyrian Pentecostal Church, ministering until the church was shut down on the orders of the Ministry of Interior in March 2009.
Pastor Victor’s prayer requests include:
· Finding a suitable lawyer who will be willing to defend him in court
· The judge who will review his case will be someone who believes in God
· Pastor Victor and his family will be able to continue in faith and strength and have wisdom and patience
· God will protect them as they carry on His work
Iran is ranked 7th on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. (https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/).
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.