Iranian pastor imprisoned for his Christian faith gets released

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Pastor Farshid

Iranian Pastor Farshid Fathi gets released by the Iranian authorities.

According to details, the Iranian authorities have released the Iranian Pastor Farshid Fathi on 21 December 2015, after spending five years behind the bars merely for his Christian faith.

Elam Ministries, which had been striving to spread the Gospel of Christ in Iran, said “We are deeply grateful for your faithful prayers for Farshid while he has been in prison. We would like to request that you continue praying for Farshid today and in the coming weeks. Please pray especially for protection, his family and his adjustment to life outside prison.”

In 2010, Pastor Farshid was arrested on Boxing Day when the Iranian authorities carried out raids targeting Iranian Christians and churches. During his five years of imprisonment, Pastor Farshid spent over 100 days in solitary detention. He had spent a total of 14 months before his case tried in the court.

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In 2012, court awarded Pastor Farshid a six-year sentence for “action against national security, cooperating with foreign organisations and ‘evangelism,” Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported. Initially, Pastor Farshid was held with political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison in Tehran. Later on, in August 2014, he was transferred in August to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he was held with fierce criminals.

Before being transferred, Pastor Farshid was violently attacked during a raid by security agents on Ward 350. He suffered a broken foot and toe as the security agents had discovered two litres of alcohol in a ward next to the one in which he was held. Farshid was erroneously and unjustly declared responsible and was awarded an additional one-year sentence in December 2014. However, on 4 July 2015 it was announced that he would be released on 10 December 2015.

In addition to Pastor Farshid, four other Iranian Christians namely Suroush Saraie, Mehdi Ameruni, Seyed Bijan Farokhpour Haghigi and Eskander Rezai were released previously. These four Iranian Christians were all arrested during a raid on a prayer meeting in Shiraz on 12th October 2012.