Iranian Pastor Behnam Irani has been freed after spending six years of imprisonment in Iran, Mission Network News reports.
“Irani has been released from prison and is now free,” confirmed advocacy group Present Truth Ministries (PTM). “We thank you all for your prayers. The Lord has preserved him in a mighty way!,” added PTM in a statement.
Irani was accused of various charges related to his Christians activities such as holding Bible studies. His house church was raided in 2010 where security officials interrogated those attending the service and confiscated Bibles, Christian literature and DVDs. In 2014, the 43-year-old pastor faced another 18 more charges, including a capital crime.
The pastor was in and out of prison for different charges but he continued his activities as an evangelical pastor of a house church congregation with 300 members. He remained faithful to Christ despite court pressure to return to Islam.
In an interview from prison, Irani said, “I’ve the joy of the Holy Spirit. I’m very thankful for Christian activists who are fighting alongside with us.” He said that mistreatment and poor hygiene in the prison left him in poor health, including reported intestinal problems and rheumatism, according to BosNewsLife.
Persecution watch groups both applauded the news of Irani’s release and scolded the Iranian government for its treatment of Christians. “CSW welcomes Pastor Irani’s release from prison following his unjust arrest and conviction on false charges,” remarked Mervyn Thomas of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Mnnonlineorg. (2016). Mission Network News. https://www.mnnonline.org/news/pastor-behnam-irani-finally-released-prison/
Bosnewslifecom. (2016). Bosnewslifecom. http://www.bosnewslife.com/37215-breaking-news-iran-pastor-irani-released-from-prison
Christiannewsnet. (2016). Christian News Network. http://christiannews.net/2016/10/23/iranian-pastor-imprisoned-for-spreading-christianity-now-free/