Pastor Jacob’s Story
In 2012 Jacob* was ordained as the pastor of a church in Iran. His church grew to a vibrant congregation of over 100 believers.
However, he came under severe pressure by the security services to stop preaching the Gospel and to restrict the church’s weekly activities. He told them: “You have no right to decide when the people of God can meet for worship and when they cannot meet! We can have meetings every day if we want to as the door of the house of God should always be open.” The church teaches the love of God through Christ Jesus, and as a result some Iranian Muslims have come to Christ.
At great personal risk, pastor Jacob defied government orders that ban Muslims from converting to Christ by praying with these new believers in a secret location.
However, earlier on this year pastor Jacob was banned from preaching in his church and was feeling very distraught and unhappy.
When Release’s partner learnt about this they invited pastor Jacob and his wife, Farshideh* to meet with members of their team in another country.
They met for three days ministering to them both. They prayed for Jacob and Farshideh, asking God to show them His plans for the future of their ministry. They passed on vital financial help to support them for the next few months.
Pastor Jacob is committed to making a stand for Christ. He is not afraid to face persecution, even prison, for telling people about Jesus. He said: “I was born here and as an Iranian citizen and according to the law they cannot expel me from my city. If I am guilty of a crime then they can arrest me, take me to court and imprison me.”
In Iran there are more than 10 Christian workers in prison for their faith and around twice that number who are appealing against sentences. We pray for them and praise the Lord for dozens of godly couples who are engaged in sensitive evangelism and in leading thriving ‘underground’ churches in Iran, Central Asia, Pakistan and parts of Africa, thanks to your support.
Such faithful and brave believers like Jacob and Farshideh need our prayers and our financial support.
Will you send a gift of £25 or more to Release today to support Christian workers who are sharing the Gospel and discipling Christians in hostile places?
*Names have been changed and stock photos have been used to protect the identity of the people we serve.