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Fariba Dalir begins sentence
Fariba Dalir – reporting for prison for leading a church. Picture: Middle East Concern

Iranian Christians are calling for prayer as a Christian woman begins a two-year prison sentence for leading an evangelical church.

Fariba Dalir was found guilty of ‘acting against national security by establishing and leading an Evangelical Christian Church’.

The 51-year-old Christian convert was arrested in Teheran in July 2021 by agents from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. They seized Fariba along with five others, including her then fiancé, Saroush.

The authorities kept Fariba in solitary confinement for 38 days before moving her to Evin Prison.

Evin prison scaled
Notorious – Iran’s Evin Prison. Screengrab: Google

Solitary confinement

Saroush and a 17-year-old girl were also held in solitary confinement. According to reports, the Christian teenager was subjected to intense interrogation.

They were released in October after posting bail, and Fariba was also allowed home on bail the following month.

Fariba and Soroush were married in November.

Fariba was initially sentenced to five years in prison, because of the mistaken belief that she had a criminal record. A judge later reduced that sentence to two years.

She reported to the authorities to begin her jail term on April 16.

Please pray

Release International works with partners to support persecuted Christians around the world. Our partners in Iran are calling for prayer that:

God will strengthen and encourage Fariba:

  • That she will bring God’s love and light to other women detained in Evin Prison;
  • That God will encourage Fariba’s husband Saroush and their Christian friends;
  • And that the Iranian authorities will stop persecuting Christian converts and other religious communities by criminalising gathering in homes for prayer and worship.

Sources: Middle East Concern, Article 18, Iranwire.