AG Church Raided by Iranian Intelligence Agency

Iran church
(Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl)

The Iranian Intelligence Agency raided an Assemblies of God church in Ahvaz on the morning of Dec. 23, according to multiple news agencies.

Pastor Farhad Sabokrouh, his wife, Shahnaz Jizani, and the entire congregation—children included—were arrested, loaded on buses and taken to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

Mohabat News says that after several hours of interrogation, the detainees were released, with the exception of pastor Farhad Sabokrouh, his wife and two other members—Naser Zamen-Dezfuli and Davoud Alijani. Currently, the location, treatment and condition of the four remain unknown.

"We have spoken to our area directors and leaders in the region and have confirmed that this action did indeed take place," states AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "Although direct communication into Iran is very difficult and some of the details of the arrest remain unclear, what is clear is that our brothers and sisters in Iran need our prayers for supernatural endurance, wisdom and protection."

According to the Christian Today Australia, this is not the first time that Christmas celebrations in Iranian churches have been raided in this way. Similar raids and detentions during the Christmas season have occurred in Iran for the last three years.

Ironically, the Iranian Student's News Agency posted that on Dec. 21, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani sent a message to Pope Benedict XVI, which, in part, stated that Jesus Christ's teachings should be heeded more.

Reports explain the Assembly of God church in Ahvaz was holding its Christmas service on Friday because Sundays are work days in Muslim countries and Christmas (which was on a Sunday) is not a recognized national holiday, while Friday is a weekend day.

"Prayer for the persecuted church is vital," states Wood. "Whether one prays for God to intervene supernaturally to place protection around the church, to give the church supernatural ability to withstand persecution or some combination of the two, our prayers in support of our brothers and sisters experiencing intense persecution throughout the world is desperately needed."

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective