Secret church reaches out during pandemic in Iran Secret church reaches out during pandemic in Iran Friends, despite the risks and their own suffering, secret Christians in Iran felt called to reach out to their community with food and sanitary items during the coronavirus pandemic. These believers who worship behind closed doors are spreading the love of Christ in their community—not in words, but in deeds. House churches inside the country are quite resilient. “They have become used to living in difficult circumstances,” explains Steve*, an Open Doors fieldworker. “So, when COVID-19 reached Iran, they were afraid that it would hit them or their loved ones, but at the same time they were undaunted. They felt it was their calling to take care of people around them—not only other believers but neighbors, colleagues or others nearby who were struggling. “First, they used their own resources but, when those ended, they reached out to our partners, who in turn contacted us. They thought that no one cared about them. But, through our partners, we showed that the worldwide church is standing beside them.” Please pray the seeds of Christ’s love that are planted grow and bear fruit. Thank God for the strong underground church in Iran that has been prepared for such a time as this. Pray for provision for secret believers to continue to minister during the pandemic. Pictured: Local Christian distributing food and relief items.

Christian woman held in dangerous Iranian prison

Friends, we have confirmed reports that the missing 21-year-old Christian activist in Iran, who was arrested four weeks ago in Iran’s capital city of Tehran, is alive. She is being held in the country’s largest—and most dangerous—women’s prison.

Article18 reports that Fatemeh (or Mary as she likes to be called) Mohammadi is in Qarchak Prison, located in a desert south of Tehran. She has been able to call home a few times to reassure her family that she is okay.

A month ago, on January 12, Mary was arrested, as protests took place in central Tehran’s Azadi Square following the Iranian government’s admission of guilt in the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane.

The young woman is seen as a threat and has already been imprisoned more than once. She boldly speaks out about injustice and the rights of Christians, including the cruel treatment she received in prison. She writes on a variety of social issues and has also run a campaign petitioning for all Christians, including converts, to be given the right to worship in a church.

Please pray for her safety and quick release from prison.

Pray God will comfort and strengthen her and continue to give her boldness.

Pray God will continue to raise up devoted men and women like Mary to lead His church in Iran.

If you would like to read more about Mary’s story, please click here.

Photo: Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi, copyright Article18