Iranian Christians are thankful that Hadi Asgari, a Christian convert, has been granted conditional release from Evin Prison after posting bail. They request prayer for the upcoming appeal hearing for Hadi, fellow Christian convert Amin Nader Afshari, and Assyrian pastor Victor Bet Tamraz. The appeal hearing, which had been postponed, is expected to take place either on 25 April or on 8 May, but as yet a written summons has not yet been given to the defendants.
Hadi was released yesterday (11 April) on bail. He had previously been refused bail by the Court of Appeal, but this was reconsidered and suitable bail conditions were agreed following his appearance before a judge on 4 February.
Hadi was arrested in August 2016 when security officials interrupted a number of Christian families as they enjoyed a picnic in Firuzkuh, north of Tehran. He and Pastor Victor are appealing 10-year sentences, issued on 4 July 2017, for “acting against national security.” Amin has been sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment on the same charges. Amin and Hadi were put under pressure to convert back to Islam, but they remain firm in their faith.
Iranian Christians are thankful that Hadi has been granted conditional release from prison and request prayer that:
a. Hadi will quickly recover from the 19 months he has spent in Evin Prison and be able to enjoy this period of freedom
b. the Court of Appeal will act justly and revoke the harsh sentences against the three men
c. God will strengthen and encourage these believers and their families to stand firm in their witness to Christ, and give his wisdom in all dealings with the Iranian authorities
d. pressure from international bodies and governments, as well as from within Iran, will lead to these men’s rights being upheld, and the rights of all Iranian citizens to religious freedom to be respected.