BULLETIN FOR SUNDAY, January 26, 2020

We welcome you to FEA, where we are overcoming through the power of the Word. We are happy to have you!

Concerns are being raised internationally about the well-being of an Iranian Christian convert who was arrested just last week. The Human Rights Activists News Agency first reported on the arrest of 21-year-old Christian convert Fatemeh Mohammadi, who prefers to go by the name “Mary” since her spiritual conversion. Mary was detained near Azadi Square in Tehran, where protests occurred after the Iranian military shot down a Ukranian passenger plane and killed 176 people. Although several people were arrested in connection with protests that took place in multiple cities, it is not clear whether Mary was involved in any of the protests. 

Article 18, a United Kingdom-based watchdog group that promotes religious freedom and tolerance for Christians in Iran, reports that Mary published a series of tweets on the day she was arrested, saying that the Iranian people faced “soft repression” in Iran as the regime creates “false beliefs through selective coverage of the news.” She reportedly used hash tags in her tweets that translate to English as “hard-pressed” and “suppression is the norm.” She reportedly accused the regime of spreading ”lies that are bigger and more repetitive to make them more believable.”

Iran Human Rights Watch reported on Sunday that even a week after Mary’s arrest the authorities have released no information on her whereabouts and her condition. This is not the first time that Mary has been detained by authorities in the Islamic Republic. She was arrested in 2017 during a raid on an underground house church meeting and was later sentenced to six months in prison. She served her time in the women’s ward of Iran’s notorious Evin prison. 

She wrote an open letter to Iran’s Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi last May accusing him of targeting Christians and violating the constitution. In her letter, she also questioned why Christian converts in Iran must refrain from talking about their faith in Iran, while Muslims are free to discuss their faith in public settings.  Johnnie Moore, an evangelical communications executive who serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, tweeted his support for Mary, praying for God to protect her and “everyone subject to those in Iran who traffic in inhumanity and who wield injustice to preserve their own personal power.”

Let us also remember to pray for Mary, who at 21 years old is taking such a bold stand for the Lord in a society that is so brutal to Christians.  Pray for her protection and that God would give her all that she needs to be His light In the midst of that darkness.  Amen!



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