Monday, February 6, 2012

Iran: Concern over health condition of Pastor Farhad Sabokroh in prison

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

AHWAZ, IRAN (ANS) -- Concern is growing in Iran over health condition of Pastor Farhad Sabokroh who was arrested together with two other Christian converts. They have now been in custody for over 40 days.

Pastor Farhad Sabokroh (From Mohabat News)
According to the Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News (, family, relatives and a wide range of Iranian Christians within and outside Iran expressed their concern over the health condition of Pastor Farhad Sabokroh, who was arrested on December 23, 2011, with others in attendance at the Christmas service of the Assemblies of God (AOG) church of Ahwaz, where he was pastoring.

According to this report, sources affirmed that Pastor Sabokroh, Naser Zamen-Defzuli and Davoud (David) Alijani were transferred to Karoun prison of Ahwaz. They have now been held in prison for over 40 days. They were arrested by security authorities in Ahwaz, (543 miles south west of Tehran, the Capital), which is in Khuzestan province.

“Prior to his arrest, Pastor Sabokroh was under treatment for cataract disease and underwent surgery but now has no access to a doctor,” a spokesperson for Mohabat News told the ASSIST News Service.

“Knowledgeable sources define his situation concerning this because, after the surgery, he needed to visit his doctor on a regular basis for the required medications. Now, with this situation, he is still not allowed to leave the prison after over 40 days to continue his treatment.”

Christian Prisoners' Rights Advocacy Club sent a report to Mohabat News expressing their deep concern and objection to illegal and inhuman acts by the Iranian Security system towards Iranian Christians, especially Pastor Sabokroh and the two other Christian prisoners who are being held with him.
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They called on the Intelligence and Judicial systems of Iran to free them immediately and grant Christian prisoners their legal and human rights. This organization also considers the continuation of Pastor Sabokroh's medical treatment as his human right and adjudged the authorities as directly responsible for the health and welfare of Christian prisoners.

Pastor Sabokroh’s wife was allowed to visit him briefly on January 27, 2012, and expressed concern over his health condition.

"It's being said that he spends most of his time in prayer and fasting in his cell. His physical situation is extremely bad and he has lost weight. He also asked all Iranian Christians to pray for the release of Christian prisoners," added the Mohabat News spokesperson.

“It should be remembered that Mrs. Shanaz Jeizan, the wife of Pastor Sabokroh was also among those arrested at Christmas in the AOG church of Ahwaz. After 10 days, she was temporarily released from the Intelligence office of Ahwaz after submitting a house title deed as bail."

According to this report, no news is available regarding the condition of the two other prisoners, Davoud Alijani and Naser Zamen-Dezfuli. They're still being held in uncertainty and without being formally charged.”

The reports also indicate that Noorollah Qabitizade, another Christian convert who was arrested on December, 24, 2010, is still being held in Karoun prison of Ahwaz.

“He was subjected to severe interrogations by Intelligence officers from the time of his arrest,” added the spokesperson. “It is being reported that security authorities and interrogators have put him under different mental pressures including forcing him to sign commitments stating that he won't participate in any evangelical activities and to write repentance notes renouncing Christianity, in order to make him discontinue his faith in Christ.”

Dan Wooding, 71, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries and also provides a regular commentary for Worship Life Radio on KWVE. You can follow Dan Wooding on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books, one of which is his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available this link.

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