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Happy Easter, Happy Resurection Day, Jesus Our Lord and Saviour Is Alive, Jesus's Empty Tomb and His Resurection from Death is the Basis of our Belief as Followers of Jesus Christ

Remember The Persecuted Christians, Don't forget Persecuted Chr
istians in Iran, Pray for Pastor hamid Pourmand facing charge of Apostasy and possible death sentence in

Pastor Hamid Pourmand of Bushehr, Iran

June, 2005 Church of Iran needs your prayer and your support
May 30, 2005 Acquitted of charges of apostasy and proselytizing by the Sharia (Islamic Law) court in Bandar Bushehr
(We praise the Lord for this great news ... please continue to pray for pastor Hamid as he serves his 3 years sentence)
April 30, 2005 Venue For Apostasy Trial Changed
April 05, 2005 Faces charge of apostasy and possible death sentence in Iran
February 8, 2005 Sentenced to 3 years in Prison
September 9, 2004 80 Iranian Christian Leaders including Pastor Hamid Pourmand arrested

The church in Iran needs the powerful intercessory prayers of the saints worldwide

Remember those in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3, NIV

Remember the persecuted and Imprisoned Christians in Iran, India, Africa, ...

Pastor Hamid Pourmand Acquitted of Apostasy Cahrges

Monday, May 30, 2005

By Dan Wooding - Founder of ASSIST Ministries

BANDAR-I BUSHEHR, IRAN (ANS) -- Hamid Pourmand, a lay leader in the Assemblies of God church in Bandar-i Bushehr who converted to Christianity in 1980, has been acquitted of charges of apostasy and proselytizing.

"If found guilty he would have faced the death penalty," said a spokesperson for Middle East Concern (MEC), who has been monitoring the case. "He remains imprisoned for allegedly deceiving the Iranian army about his being a Christian."

Pourmand was arrested September 9, 2004, together with 85 other participants of the annual general conference of denomination. The other Christians were released within the next three days, but pastor Pourmand was charged with hiding his conversion from his superiors. According to Iranian law only Muslims can be officers in the army.

The Middle East Concern spokesperson went on to say, "On Saturday May 28th an Islamic judge in Bandar-I Bushehr, on Iran's Gulf coast, acquitted pastor Pourmand of charges of apostasy and proselytizing Muslims. Christian news agency Compass Direct has been told that the judge reportedly stated 'I don't know who you are, but the rest-of-the-world does,' a clear reference to the international attention that this case has attracted.'"

Pastor Pourmand was formally charged with apostasy from Islam and proselytizing Muslims in early April. Starting on April 13th He appeared before an Islamic court in Tehran every two or three days. He was repeatedly pressed to return to Islam. These hearings stopped after two weeks. He was transferred to his home town of Bandar-i Bushehr on the 16th May.

"On February 16th 2005 pastor Pourmand was found guilty of this charge despite presenting documents in court that proved his superior were aware he was a Christian before he was promoted to the officer ranks. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and dishonorably discharged from the army with lost of his income, pension and housing for his family. However, the local authorities delayed evicting his wife and two teenage sons from their army provided housing until the end of the school year."

The spokesperson concluded by revealing that in the last 16 years three Iranian church leaders have been charged with apostasy.

"All were convicted and sentenced to death," they said. "Pastor Hussein Soodman was hanged in 1989. Deacon Maher had a noose round his neck when he signaled his willingness to recant and was released after signing a paper to that effect in 1992. Pastor Mehdi Dibaj was condemned to death in December 1993. He was released three weeks later after a strong international outcry; only to be found murdered six months later."

MEC is a co-operative effort by concerned Christians in the Middle East focusing on the need for Middle Eastern authorities to ensure the rights of all who choose to call themselves Christian.

Romans 8:38-39
(New Living Translation)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away.

39 Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39, nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ

The church in Iran needs the powerful intercessory prayers of the saints worldwide.
The following are some prayer points on behalf of the persecuted church in Iran:

  1. Pray that the Lord would cover Pastor Hamid Pourmand, his family and other Iranian Church leaders with His grace, goodness and mercies. Pray that they would feel His presence, and the Holy Spirit would comfort and strengthen them in their Christian walk. Pray for God's angels to surround the Pourmands and other persecuted saints in Iran, so that their bodies, minds and spirits would be kept safe.
  2. Pray that the Lord would give wisdom and boldness to Christian leaders and followers of Christ in Iran. Pray for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit upon them.
  3. Pray that the authorities in Iran would administer true justice, and that they would come to know the Truth that sets everyone free. Pray that the authorities remove restrictions on Iranian Christians, their leaders, and their church services.
  4. Pray that the Lord would reveal Himself to many Iranians through dreams and visions and that many would be born by the Holy Spirit and become children of God.
  5. Pray that more evangelistic resources would become available for multitudes of Iranians who hunger for the saving Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eternal Life Agape Ministries and FarsiNet Ministries are committed to supporting pastor Pourmand and other Iranian Christian leaders and ministries. In particular, we are committed to helping Emmanuel, Pastor Hamid Pourmand's son with his tuition until he completes his medical school. 100% of all contributions go to support this family.

If you would like to support Brother Pourmand's family and other Iranian Christians who suffer for their faith and are without financial means as a result of this latest wave of persecution in Iran, you can do so through Eternal Life Agape Ministries (address below). You can also help send pocket size Farsi New Testaments to Iran. For each $5, a Farsi New Testament could be hand carried to Iran and placed in the hands of an Iranian Muslim. Today is the day to reach Iranians. You are welcome to send your donations for Pourman's family as well as Farsi New Testament for Iranians to the following address:

Eternal Life Agape Ministries
P.O. Box 3011
Chatsworth, CA 91313-3011, USA
Tel. 818-882-0586      Fax. 818-882-2057

Jesus said: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
- Gospel of John 16:33
Gospel of John, 16:33, Jesus says; I give you peace in this world

Venue For Apostasy Trial Changed for Pastor Hamid Pourmand

April 30, Tehran Iran (Compass) -- Iranian authorities abandoned preliminary hearings against Christian convert Hamid Pourmand before an Islamic sharia court in Tehran last week, apparently after news of his trial leaked out to the international press.

Less than two weeks after secretive court proceedings began against the Protestant lay pastor, officials informed his lawyer and family that he was to be moved from Tehran's Evin Prison to his home city of Bandar-i Bushehr to stand trial for his life.

No indication was given as to when Pourmand would be transferred to one of several prisons in the southern port city.

Nor did officials specify when he would actually go on trial, facing the death penalty under the Islamic regime.s laws forbidding apostasy and proselytizing.

Second Trial for Pourmand

Pourmand, 47, was arrested by the Iranian security police last September for deserting Islam 25 years ago to become a Christian. A former colonel in the Iranian army, he was serving as lay pastor of an Assemblies of God congregation in Bandar-i Bushehr.

After five months in solitary confinement, he was convicted by a military court martial in mid February for "deceiving the Iranian armed forces" about his conversion; he was sentenced to three years in prison. Judges at the military tribunal declared the written evidence that his army superiors knew about his Christian faith to be "falsified documents".

Iran's Islamic law statutes forbid a non-Muslim to hold any position of authority over Muslims.

For the past two months, Pourmand has been jailed in Tehran in a group cell with a number of well-known political dissidents. He had lost nearly 40 pounds while undergoing interrogation in the first five months of strict isolation.

Legal Rights Ignored

"The prisons in Bandar-i Bushehr are terrible," one Iranian source commented. "By law, he should be allowed visitors once or twice a week. But in Iran, nobody pays any attention to the law".

According to rapporteurs of two working groups monitoring arbitrary detention and free expression in Iran under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the Iranian judiciary routinely ignores the legal rights of citizens subjected to arrest and imprisonment.

"The rapporteurs have observed the use of arbitrary procedures by the judicial institutions violating the most basic rights of defendants, who are tried in secret hearings without a lawyer being present," declares the groups. report. They also noted "very harsh prison conditions, including long periods in solitary confinement, that are equivalent to torture".

Family Suffering

Pourmand.s officer salary was suspended at the time of his arrest, with his entire pension cancelled after his military court conviction. Although court orders were issued immediately to evict his family from their army housing, local authorities in Bandar-i Bushehr have postponed the eviction of his wife and two teenage sons until the end of the current school term.

"Hamid's wife and sons feel very alone now," an Iranian source told Compass. "They are isolated, without any source of income, and no place to go when summer comes". Reportedly, local church leaders are under such government pressure that they do not dare to have any contact with her and the children.

Hamid Pourmand faces charge of apostasy and possible death sentence

(April 05, 2005)- Iranian Christian Hamid Pourmand must appear before the Islamic (sharia) court of Iran within nine days. An exact court date has not been released. Arrested September 2004 when security police raided a church conference he was attending, the Assemblies of God lay pastor will be brought up before the Islamic court between April 11 and 14 to face charges of apostasy from Islam and proselytizing Muslims to the Christian belief. Both "crimes" are punishable by death.

Pourmand, now 47, converted from Islam to Christianity nearly 25 years ago. He spent several months in solitary confinement after his arrest last September 9 2004, the only one of more than 80 church leaders arrested at the conference who was not released.

One of Iran's leading Protestant pastors was executed in December 1990 after a sharia court condemned him. Hussein Soodman, also an Assemblies of God pastor and a Muslim convert to Christianity, had been involved in Christian ministry for 24 years. He was reportedly hanged on December 3, 1990, as part of what was believed then to be a new wave of repression directed against the small Christian community in this Islamic Republic.

Pourmand, an army colonel at the time of his arrest, was found guilty by a military court on February 16 of "deceiving" the Iranian armed forces about his faith, despite evidence he produced to the contrary. According to the judge of the military court, his recent three-year sentence was given because Pourmand withheld from his superiors the information that he was a Christian. The Islamic regime in Iran has made it illegal for a non-Muslim citizen to serve as a military officer, since that puts him in a position of authority over Muslim soldiers.

The military court verdict is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court. But with the judiciary.s threat to try Pourmand before a sharia court of Islamic law now being carried out, he could face the death penalty.

Hope that Case Highlights Religious Intolerance

One Tehran source close to Pourmand.s case said he was hopeful that this judicial proof of religious intolerance in Iran would be highlighted during the annual six-week session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, convening now in Geneva.

The European Union (EU) lodged a formal protest with Iranian authorities last November over the arrests of Christians -- and in particular Christian pastors -- as an "infringement of the freedom of religion or belief".

Pourmand's verdict was labeled "a shocking travesty of justice, even by Iran's meager standards" by Nina Shea of Freedom House in Washington, D.C. His arrest was also noted in the latest report on human rights in Iran released in March by the U.S. State Department.

Hardship for Family

Transferred to a group prison cell at Tehran.s maximum-security Evin Prison after the February trial, Pourmand.s sentence automatically discharged him from the army, cutting off not only his regular income, but also eliminating nearly 20 years of military pension. Pourmand.s wife and two children were required to immediately vacate their home in military lodgings. "His family has nothing now," a source confirmed. "No salary, no house, nothing".

Pourmand and his wife Arlet, who is from an Assyrian Christian background, have two teenage sons, Immanuel and David. They were living in Bandar-i Bushehr, a southern port city where he served as volunteer lay pastor of a small Assemblies of God congregation. (Reported by Compass Direct)

After months of imprisonment, Pastor Pourmand has been sentenced to 3 years in prison

Pastor Hamid Pourmand of Bushehr, Iran has been sentenced to 3 years in prison.  He was found guilty Picture of Pastor Hamid Pourmand of Bushehr Iran who was sentenced to 3 years in Prision for serving in Iranian Military as a Christian of failing to confess he was a Christian while serving in the military.  The documents which Pastor Pourmand presented proving the falseness of this claim were rejected by the courts.  He has now apparently been moved to the infamous Evin Prison in Tehran.  Besides spending 3 years in prison, Pastor Pourmand will be discharged from the armed forces, as well as forfeit his benefits.

Pastor Pourmand's troubles first began on September 9, 2004 when he, along with over 80 other Iranian church leaders, was arrested in Karaj, Iran during an annual nationwide church business meeting. While all others were released within days, Pastor Pourmand remained in prison.

Pastor Pourmand has been a Christian for over 25 years, and has always been very open about his faith. For most of this time he served with the Iranian Armed Forces, while more recently has has voluntarily served other Christians as a pastor.

Pastor Pourmand has faithfully served his country for years, but now is being held prisoner because of his faith in Christ. There is concern for his safety as the climate in Iran has not always beenconducive to the well being of Christians, occasionally ending in their martyrdom such as Bishop Haik Hovsepian, Pastor Mehdi Dibaj, Pastor Bagher Yusefi, and others.

Please remember to pray for Pastor Pourmand and for his safety and release. Pray also for his wife and two children as they cope with life in this new situation. Pray also that the church in Iran would have wisdom and boldness during this time. Pray for true religious freedom in Iran.

PS: Under Islamic law enforced in Iran, a Muslim who converts to Christianity faces the death penalty.

Reported by Compass Direct

"Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection... they were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword... the world was not worthy of them." -- Hebrews 11: 37-38.

Martyred and Imprisoned Iranian ChristiansMartyred & Imprisoned Christian Leaders in Iran

Iranian Muslims Turn to Christ Despite Threat, Persecution!

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Happy Easter, Happy Resurection Day, Jesus' Empty Tomb is the main Principle of Our Belief as Followers of Jesus Christ, He has Risen, He is Alive and overcame Death so We may Have Ethernal Life, He died for our Sins on the Cross and after 3 days rose from Death, His Empty Tomb is the Sign of Our Hope & Victory
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