Three Christians from Azerbaijan, together with an Iranian convert, who faced charges of missionary activity and “propaganda against the regime” have been released on bail after spending four months in prison.
Eldar Gurbanov, Yusiv Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov, all from Baku, Azerbaijan, were invited to bless a wedding in Tehran on June 24. According to Middle East Concern, the three men wanted to tour Iran for three more days but they were arrested by security agents at the party.
Gurbanov, Farhadov and Nasibov were taken to Evin prison along with an Iranian Christian convert named Naser. The four Christians were locked up in a solitary confinement for two months and were not allowed access to a legal counsel or consular assistance.
The four men were later transferred to shared cells at a ward in the prison facility. They were released on bail on Oct. 29.
Their families and friends are hoping that they will be acquitted of all charges. They are also praying that “the Iranian regime will treat all prisoners with dignity and justice, and that people will no longer be penalised on account of their faith or religious activities.”
According to a report from World Watch Monitor, more than 200 Christians have been arrested by Iranian authorities since 2015. Many are still in jail while others were released conditionally.
Rob Duncan of Middle East Concern said that 43 Christians have been arrested in September alone.
“The Iranian regime is conducting a very active campaign against house churches at the moment and leaders of house churches are harassed and put under pressure,” he remarked.
Iran is currently ranked as the ninth most difficult place to live as a Christian, according to the Open Doors World Watch List.
Despite heavy persecution, the number of Christians continues to increase. Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs USA asserted that many Iranians have already rejected Islam and they are now prepared to receive the Gospel. He believes that God is enabling Christians to share the Good News through various means.
“I think the Gospel is spreading in Iran really through every imaginable channel. We know satellite broadcasting is producing great results. Because of the danger, people in the privacy of their own home who can turn on the TV and get answers to their questions, that’s a great way of reaching them,” Nettleton told Mission Network News.
Source: Christian Times