According to recent reports, Iranian Pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2011 was severely beaten by the Iranian secret police (VEVAK), during the last week.
VEVAK beat the pastor during a recent search of his prison cell. Iranian Christians say such treatment is not unusual when a Christian prisoner nears the end of his sentence.
The reason is to try to keep Christian evangelists who were involved in preaching to Muslims longer than their stated time or to leave a deep mental scar that restrains them from evangelizing once out of the prison.
Irani, a 43-year-old former Muslim who is now an evangelical Christian leader in the Islamic Republic, was originally sentenced to serve six years in prison for reportedly forming an evangelical congregation in the city of Karaj.
But in September of last year, Irani was accused of 18 new charges, including “spreading corruption on Earth,” which is punishable by execution.
Irani was subsequently sentenced to serve an additional six years in prison — 12 in total — after being convicted of committing crimes against Iranian national security, which is a charge often used to imprison Christian leaders who set up house churches in Iran.
Present Truth Ministries, a ministry dedicated to supporting the persecuted church in the Middle East and has continuously campaigned for Irani’s release, reported last Friday that Irani was granted a 15-day release on July 4 after his family posted a $40,000 bond.
In order to pay the bond, Irani’s mother pledged her own home as collateral. She will get the full rights to her property back if Irani returns to prison on the scheduled date of July 19.
Irani is now home visiting with his wife, Kristina, an Armenian Christian, and their two children.
“We are so grateful he was able to get back home to be with his family even for this short period of time,” the Present Truth Ministries report stated. “It is the first time they are together at home in four and a half years.”
In June of last year, Irani went missing for over three weeks and many feared that he was secretly executed. However, he was later returned to the prison and not allowed to say where he was taken or what was done to him.
“He was missing since June 7, 2014, without any information being given to his family regarding his whereabouts,” Present Truth Ministries reported at the time. “The fear was that he was taken and executed without notice.”