October 11, 2011

Behnam Irani

Behnam Irani is a 43 year old pastor from Karaj, Iran. He is married to Kristina, an Armenian Christian, and has a daughter, Rebecca, 11 and a son Adriel, 5. He came to know Jesus Christ in 1992 and has been a pastor since 2002.

We are working on a project to help free Pastor Behnam. Go to http://freebehnam.com to learn more. Please email us a video from your smartphone saying “Free Pastor Behnam” and send it to info@presenttruthmn.com

Letter From Pastor Behnam
Copy of Verdict In Farsi
Here are links to his written verdict in Farsi. Page 1. Page 2.
Arrested Twice
He has been arrested and tried for “crimes” against national security twice, first in December 2006 and second April 2010. Basically, in this instance, crimes against national security is holding house church services and leading Muslims to Christ. The first time he was arrested was in December 2006. He was released on bail in January 2007.  On February 23, 2008 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.

On April 14, 2010 MOIS officers came into a house church service, assaulted him and took him into custody. A service was taking place at the time and the security officials interrogated those attending as well as confiscating Bibles, Christian literature and DVD’s. 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.

On May 31, 2011 a warrant was issued for his arrest so he turned himself into the prison and began serving a one year sentence.

Video of This Arrest

Shortly before the time he was to be released on October 18, 2011 he  was informed by letter that he was now required to serve his five year prison sentence from 2008.

Tortured and Gravely Ill

Since his first year in prison brother Behnam was extremely ill. During his first year in prison he had been beaten by prisoners under the watchful eye of prison authorities. As a result he  began to lose his eyesight, had what seemed to be untreated Inflammatory Bowel Disease, was barely able to speak and had trouble walking. If God hadn’t interviewed during his time in prison sources close to the family were concerned he would die in prison. Our sources informed us that in July 2012 he was vomiting blood and went unconscious as a result. He was sent to the prison nurse station, but never treated for the ulcer. He was quickly transferred back to his cell. Our sources believe that the Iranian government is not allowing him to visit a hospital because they want him to die in prison. I’m thankful we serve a God that can change situations and preserve the life of his saints. Please hold him and his family up in prayer.

On Saturday September 21, 2013 his family went to request his pardon and release from prison. They did this based upon the pardoning of 11 prisoners of conscience shortly before this time. The judge stated that if he repents and returns to Islam he will be pardoned and released.

Pastor Behnam Irani underwent surgery on February 22, 2014 at the Shahid Madani Hospital in Karaj, Iran, because of the severe bleeding as a result of stomach ulcers and colon complications. He is now in much improved health as a result.

Other Concerns

Prison Where Pastor Behnam Is Being Held

Another area of concern is that in the written verdict from 2008 the appeals court recommended the prosecutor pursue an apostasy death sentence against him stating, “Considering the explicit confessions of the abovementioned individual [Irani] during the trial, that his father and mother were Muslims and he, himself, also opted for Islam when he reached maturity, and then left the holy religion of Islam and became a Christian. And that he also deceived a group of people into leaving Islam. Therefore as mentioned in … [Islamic religious text] … the abovementioned individual is definitely an innate apostate, and the sentence for innate apostasy is death.”

You can view more pictures of Behnam Irani at https://plus.google.com/photos/117483136261587595857/albums/5725321176616731009.

September 5, 2014 Update

Pastor Behnam Irani, who is currently serving a six year prison sentence for crimes against national security, is now facing new charges for spreading corruption on the earth. This is an Islamic sharia charge that carries with it, if convicted, the death sentence. The reason for the charges against Pastor Behnam is that he continues to speak out on his own behalf and encourage believers in his church by phone. Which, for Islam, the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed spreading corruption on the earth.

Please Pray!

We desperately need your prayers for brother Behnam. Please spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Email and print out this page and hand it out to your pastor and to people at your church Please follow the instructions on how to do that. The address of the prison is:

Ghezel Hesar Prison
Karaj, Albourz State, Iran

Write a letter encouraging him and include scripture. DO NOT SEND MONEY OR GIFTS and do not speak negatively about the government.

Join this cause to sign a petition for Pastor Behnam.

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