As I write this a combination of Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Sunni tribal fighters, assisted by U.S. and ally airstrikes, mount a siege around the ISIS-controlled city of Fallujah. Inside, thousands of ISIS fighters, who took residence in Fallujah's neighborhoods almost 2.5 years ago, wait: their snipers ready, their land mines buried, their barricades defying the attack.
Suspended between all this are 50,000 souls trapped within the city walls. Men, women, and children — who alone number around 20,000 — face the cruelest days of their lives, as ISIS fighters will stop at nothing to keep control of the city.
If they flee, they'll get shot. If they stay, they'll be used as human shields — even the women and children. Recently, images leaked out of Fallujah of children with blond hair and bright eyes. They are either Christians or Yazidis and they will escape or they will die a brutal death. more >>
American Pastor Saeed Abedini has revealed that his close friend, Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran, who was held in Iranian prison for her Christian faith, is in extreme pain and "one step from death" after being temporarily released to receive medical treatment.
"Bail was put up for Nasim and she is now home. I got to talk to her. She got time from prison but there is still a high possibility they will have to take her back after a week or so. I think they allowed this to shut down the news. I saw her, and she looks like she is just one step from death," Abedini wrote in a Facebook update on Monday.
"She went to the hospital to get treatment after her temporary release and they recognized her and wouldn't treat her. Her sister in law is a doctor and she is now in her house to help her start eating," he added. more >>
An underground female church leader in Iran, who in the past helped Pastor Saeed Abedini's ministry, has gone on a hunger strike inside Evin prison in protest of the denial of critical medical attention that she needs.
Mohabat News reported on Monday that Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran began her hunger strike last week inside the women's ward of Evin, the notorious prison where Abedini spent part of his three and a half year sentence for his Christian faith.
Zargaran has also refused to accept visitors as part of her protest, which has reportedly prompted other inmates to follow in her footsteps. The 36-year-old underground church leader was arrested in winter 2013 for "actions against national security," a charge often made against religious or political prisoners of conscience in Iran. more >>
Three Christians from the Church of Iran denomination, who were arrested as part of a series of raids on house churches and believers in the Shia nation two weeks ago, will be released on bail only if they pay $33,000 each, a court in Rasht city says.
The three Christians – Yasser Mosayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan) – are being held in a jail in Rasht, the capital city of Gilan Province, pending payment of 100 million Toman, which is equivalent to about $33,000, each, according to the U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide, which has been following their case since they were arrested on May 13.
The three Christians were arrested along with their pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani, and his wife, Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, by officials from Iran's Ministry of Intelligence, known as VEVAK. The officials also seized Bibles, computers and mobile phones belonging to the three church members. more >>
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination, and his wife, who were re-arrested as part of a series of raids targeting around 10 Christian homes last week, have been released, but three other Christians are still in custody, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Officials from the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran arrested Pastor Nadarkhani, his wife, Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, and fellow church member Yasser Mosayebzadeh during a raid on the house church leader's home on Friday. Officials also separately raided the homes of Saheb Fadaie and Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan), seized their Bibles, computers and mobile phones and arrested them, CSW says in a report.
Mosayebzadeh, Fadaie and Youhan are still in custody. more >>
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination who was acquitted of apostasy in 2012 after being sentenced to death by hanging, was arrested once again, this time along with his wife and a church member, by Iranian authorities on Friday, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
"We are deeply concerned by these developments and await further clarification regarding the reasons for these arrests," CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, referring to the arrest of the 37-year-old pastor, his wife Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani and fellow church member Yasser Mosayebzadeh.
Pastor Nadarkhani was released from prison in September 2013 following his acquittal of leaving Islam by a court in Rasht in northern Gilan Province. The court, however, sentenced him to three years for evangelizing Muslims, but since he had been in jail for three years, he was released after posting bail. more >>