By Open Doors 26 March 2020

 Prisoners Released To Combat Virus

In an attempt to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in prisons, Iranian authorities have temporarily released 70,000 prisoners, but many Christians remain detained.

Iran is considered one of the worst national outbreaks of the virus, with one of the highest death rates in the world. In response, Iranian Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi announced the temporary release of prisoners to prevent further spread within prisons, stating that they will continue “to the point where it doesn’t create insecurity in society.”

Of the many Christians imprisoned, six have been released on bail following the announcement.

If found to be following Jesus, gathering with other Christians, or sharing the gospel, believers are usually sentenced on charges relating to national security that carry a sentence of five years or more.

The special leave does not apply to prisoners serving sentences of five years or longer, meaning most Christians imprisoned for their faith will be kept in prison.

In an open letter, prisoners have claimed that authorities have not done enough to combat the spread of the virus, after authorities rejected their requests for masks, gloves and disinfectant.

Yet, in a season of uncertainty and disruption, God is still working in Iran, upholding those suffering to strengthen His kingdom and bring Him glory.

Please continue to pray over our brothers and sisters in Iran.

Pray For Iran:

  • Pray for comfort, peace and protection for Christians in Iranian prisons.
  • Pray for God-given wisdom for Iranian leaders as they negotiate an effective response.
  • Pray that even as the church disperses into homes and online, they will continue to seek opportunities of fellowship, building one another up.
  • Thank God that in everything, the calm and the storm, He is in control.

Stay updated with the latest news from the persecuted church.