Iranian church leaders flee just in time
Praise God! Pastor Victor (65) and his wife Shamiram (64), were able to flee from the country shortly before Shamiram's prison sentence was to start. Earlier in August, they had been informed by their lawyer that appeals against their 10 and 5-year sentences, had been rejected.
The couple’s daughter, Dabrina, told Article18 that her parents are ‘safe and well’. The family will now continue their fight to get the sentences dropped from outside the country.
It has been more than three years since Pastor Victor was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and over two and a half years since Shamiram was given a five-year sentence; they have been out on bail since.
It has been a long process to get their appeals heard. They received a number of summons for the appeal hearings, but so many were always cancelled for a variety of reasons.
Their last scheduled appeal hearing (1 June) was cancelled without a reason being given.
Pastor Victor was arrested with two members of his church in 2014 as they celebrated Christmas together. The government had already closed the Tehran Pentecostal Assyrian Church, which he led, in 2009. He was found guilty of ‘conducting evangelism’ and ‘illegal house-church activities’, among other charges, and given a 10-year prison sentence.
Please continue to pray for Pastor Victor and Shamiram that the false charges against them will be dropped by the Iranian government.
The couple's daughter, Dabrina said her parent’s decision to leave their home country was not taken lightly and that they will return to Iran if they are acquitted of the false charges against them.
Information sources: Article18 & Middle East Concern
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