Tehran, Iran—Iranian pastor Farshid Fathi has been freed after five years imprisonment in Tehran because of charges linked to his Christian faith, Middle East Concern announced, estimating nearly 100 Christians remain imprisoned there.
“We are so thankful to the Lord for his protection over Farshid while in prison,” Middle East Concern said in a press release. “It is our hope that the gospel will continue to spread throughout Iran.”
Fathi was released Dec. 21 from Rajai Shahr prison, five months after prison authorities informed him he would be due for early release this month, although no reason for the early release has been reported.
Previously, he was scheduled for release in December, 2017, after authorities arrested him Dec. 26, 2010 for “acting against national security through membership of a Christian organization, collection of funds, and propaganda against the Islamic Regime by helping spread Christianity in the country.” Sixty other Christians were arrested on the same day in Tehran while worshipping in a house church. See related story.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) also expressed thankfulness for Fathi’s release.
“Fathi’s release is a testament to the power of prayer and international pressure. After years of aggressive advocacy from many players on the international stage, Pastor Farshid Fathi will get to spend this Christmas with his family,” ACLJ said in a statement posted on its website. “Fathi’s release also reminds us of the importance of our continued efforts to free the 91 other Christians who are imprisoned for their faith in Iran.” Fathi has a wife and two children. (BP)