Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lest We Forget, Part XVII

From the Voice of the Martyrs blog ... A Christian Under Persecution Asks for Prayer. In full ...
Prisoner Alert has updated their website with a new prisoner that we can all pray for and be an advocate for. All we have to do is take a few minutes to pray and then act. My prayer is that all of you reading this take the time to act. Make it a family event that you can do with your children, or you can involve your bible studies or Sunday School classes. Whatever you do, please try.

The picture you're looking at is Issa Motamedi who was arrested on false charges of drug trafficking. It is suspected that because Issa and his wife, Parvah, attempted to register the birth of their son, Micah, who was born in January, with the civil population bureau. Selecting such a Biblical name may have caused the authorities to begin investigating this Christian family.

At the time of his July 24th arrest the convert was told he must renounce Christianity or face years in jail and possible execution for his apostasy. Under Iran’s judicial system based on Islamic law, anyone who leaves Islam for another religion has committed a capital offense. Lakan Prison officials reportedly tried for days to force him to confess to being involved in illegal drug trafficking.

Using strong psychological pressures, including threats to kill his family and other Christian believers, Issa was interrogated by secret service agents and a professor of Islamic theology, who urged him to recant his Christian faith and return to Islam. Issa refused to do so.

Iranian court authorities in the Northern city of Rasht have released Issa. He was granted bail August 24th, but the judge introduced new accusations against him at this hearing. According to unnamed “confidential witnesses,” the judge said, the convert’s eight-year-old daughter, Martha, allegedly had been trying to lead other children to the Christian faith.

He was reunited with his wife, Parvah, and his two children following his release. He has moved his family to an undisclosed location, but is subject to be recalled to court. Issa converted to Christianity seven years ago. He asks, “Pray for me, that I would be stronger in my faith.” Issa told other believers that the calmness and protection God gave him during his time in prison were miraculous.