An Iranian pastor released from prison after spending years behind the bars. Pastor Behnam Irani has finally found freedom after serving some six years in the imprisonment for charges linked to his Christian activities.
A Christian advocacy group Present Truth Ministries (PTM) confirmed his release stating: “Irani has been released from prison and is now free. We thank you all for your prayers. The Lord has preserved him in a mighty way!”
43-year-old Pastor Behnam Irani, resident of Karaj city, began serving a one-year prison term in 2011, He was later informed that he will have to serve another five-years, for “crimes against national security.” Pastor Irani was also arrested in December 2006, but was released a month later in January 2007.
“On February 23, 2008, the Branch 30 of the Appellate Court in Tehran gave him a five year suspended sentence. Since it was a suspended sentence he was not required to go to prison, but was free on a five-year probation,” PTM states.
In April 2010, security forces raided his houses church and arrested him. At the same time his church members were interrogated and Bibles and other Christian literature was taken into custody. “Brother Behnam was in prison for two months then he was released on bail in June, 2010. In January, 2011, he was tried for and convicted of crimes against national security,” PTM stated.
“Basically, in this instance, crimes against national security is holding house church services and leading Muslims to Christ.” He remained faithful, during his imprisonment despite being pressurized to return to Islam. “I’ve the joy of the Holy Spirit. I’m very thankful for Christian activists who are fighting alongside with us,” he stated during his imprisonment.