Good News from Iran: Churchplanter Reza Released from Prison
Reza was in an Iranian prison after his own father had handed him over to police officers for his faith and spiritual activities. Because his father was a religious leader in the city and had a great reputation, Reza’s case was even worse.
Reza had become a Christian after having fixed a computer for one of our co-workers in Iran. At that time, Reza was a 15 years old a genius teenager. While fixing the computer, Reza saw Christian literature and a Bible on the desk, got interested in Christianity and Christ and during a conversation he got saved.
Reza soon became a successful evangelist and a church planter. He turned his computer shop into an underground church gathering place. The same week of his repentance he invited his customers to his shop to testify about Jesus and 60 students got saved. During the next 5 years, he planted 13 churches and led hundreds of Muslims to Christ.
Because of his activities, Reza's parents got very upset as radical Muslims. They went to a religious police station and betrayed their son. They took him to the police station and Reza got arrested.
During his stay in a temporary jail, he was visited by the mullah of his city. He urged Reza to renounce his Christian faith confessing before a camera that Christians gave him money to spread a Christian literature, otherwise, he could be hung publicly as they used to do in Iran.
Reza refused to renounce his faith, telling the mullah that even if they killed him by hanging for 1000 times and if afterwards, they would raise him from death, he would announce publicly for 1000 times that he is in love with Jesus and Christ is his Lord and Saviour. As a result of this, the mullah became angry and said he would kill Reza with his own hands.
After this, the prosecutor accused Reza of crimes that he had not committed or heard of it: international terrorism, drug dealing and sexual rape. They changed his offences from religious issues to a terrorism; they did this so that his arrest would not come before the Human Rights Commission and no one would know about Reza’s case.
We were in touch with his friends who used to updated us about Reza’s condition and we were told that there was a big possibility that they would execute him on the 13th of October 2016. Obviously, that news shocked us and caused us indescribable pain to us. Reza has been our contact in the south of Iran for many years.
The court sentenced Reza to death but then commuted it to 26 years in prison. The court offered his parents the chance to mediate on behalf of Reza and to pledge their house as security but his father refused. We could not get in touch with his parents because they were very angry with us and accused us of causing their misery.
For a long time, we did not have any news from Reza, but we were all praying that God would change his father’s heart. And what happened when we prayed? Finally, his father made the decision to be a guarantor for his son and Reza was released and expelled from Iran.
He is now safe and secure in Australia, but for the time being, he is unable to talk publicly available for the security reasons as his parents are still in Iran and they are in danger.
Reza and our team are grateful to all those who were praying for him. This is another proof that we serve an Almighty God, who hears and answers our prayers. Thanks to all DPM prayer partners and prayer warriors.