News Iran | 16-12-2023

Iranian couple due to be questioned, just months after husband was released from prison


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Please pray for a Christian couple in Iran who are due to be summoned for further questioning by the authorities. It comes after the husband, Milad Goodarzi, was arrested earlier this week, just months after being released from prison. 

Milad was released from Karaj Central Prison in March 2023 as part of a general amnesty granted to prisoners for the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. He was serving a three-year prison sentence (reduced on appeal from five years) after being convicted in June 2021 of ‘engaging in propaganda against the Islamic Republic’ under the newly amended Article 500 of the Penal Code. He had already served a four-month prison sentence in 2020 on the same charge. 

But on Monday (11 December), Milad was arrested after four members of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence raided his home in Karaj, a large suburb of Tehran. He was held for a few hours, and his laptop and phone were confiscated.

Milad is one of the first Christian converts known to have been penalised for the peaceful expression of his faith under the new provisions.

Arbitrary justice in Iran

Iran is number eight on the World Watch List. The tightening of the penal code in 2021 is part of a wider development towards Iran becoming a totalitarian state. State surveillance is on the rise and the authorities are exerting an increasing grip on daily life and activities. 

Milad’s situation reflects the arbitrary nature of Iran’s justice system and its impact on Christians. Whilst Christians have been released from prison and the Supreme Court has ruled that ‘promotion of Christianity and the formation of a house church is not criminalised in law’, believers continue to face arrest and long-term imprisonment and exile. 

Please continue to pray for believers in Iran, like Milad, whose decision to follow Jesus comes at great cost.

Source: Middle East Concern
please pray
  • That God will uphold Milad and his wife during questioning and give them wisdom in their responses, and that the whole family will be upheld by God’s comfort
  • That no charges will be brought against the couple
  • That the Iranian authorities will cease harassing and persecuting people because of their religious beliefs.

The latest World Watch List is released on 17 January, and findings from the report – together with first-hand stories from persecuted Christians. Mark your calendar and share with your church, so we can make a difference for our persecuted family together.