Iranian Pastor Shares Joy Despite Imprisonment in Letter to Christians
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Dec 24
Photo courtesy Present Truth Ministries
Jailed Iranian pastor Behnam Irani, who last month was denied hospitalization despite his critical condition, wrote a letter from his prison cell before Christmas, ministering to Christians in his country and thanking God for letting him share "very little of" Jesus' suffering on the cross, the Christian Post reports. "Despite the pressure and difficulties in prison, I am pleased to share, what is like a fountain, my Christian joy with you in the new Christmas days to come," wrote Irani, who is currently serving a six-year sentence. "My brothers and sisters, I love you all. Christ has given you to me on Calvary. Even if I were sentenced to many years behind bars for the salvation of one of you, there would never be any complaint." Before his arrest in 2011 for "acting against the interests of national security," Irani was leading the Church of Iran in the city of Karaj. He has been tortured in prison and was denied hospitalization for a bleeding ulcer. Several times he was found unconscious in his prison cell, raising fears for his well-being. His wife and two children have said they are afraid that unless the beatings stop and he is offered proper medical care, he could die in prison soon. Yet suffering has not robbed Irani of the joy Jesus gives. "I congratulate all the saints at Christmas and the coming new year," he wrote.