Iran: Imprisoned Pastor in Critical Condition
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Jul 24
Behnam Irani, a 41-year-old Iranian pastor serving prison time, is currently facing severe health concerns as a result of physical persecution, Mission Network News reports. Irani, who was arrested while conducting a Bible study and convicted in January 2011 of crimes against national security, is serving a five-year sentence in Karaj's Ghezel Hesar Prison. He has suffered several beatings from prison authorities and his cell mates, and authorities have ordered the beatings to occur regularly. After losing consciousness due to colon complications and severe bleeding from ulcers, he was admitted into a military hospital, but his health is reportedly declining because of harsh mistreatment and prison conditions. According to Voice of the Martyrs, there are growing concerns that he may not survive the next few months. Irani is a husband and a father to two children, and his family is concerned about his poor health, especially since his brother died from intestinal cancer. Ghezal Hesar Prison is one of Iran's largest and most notorious prisons for violence and cramped conditions; it houses 20,000 inmates, 300 times its holding capacity.