|Pastor Robert Asseriyan. (Photo courtesy Mohabat News)|
According to reports from Mohabat News and the Voice of the Martyrs USA, Pastor Robert Asseriyan, one of the leaders of the Assembly of God Church in Tehran, was released from prison. He had been arrested during a worship service at the church on May 21.
The Farsi services at the church--one of the last "building churches" that remained open in Iran--have been forcibly closed down by the police, according to Mohabat News.
It seems one of the conditions for Pastor Asseriyan's release was his silence, as authorities instructed him and his family not to be interviewed by the media or to make public statements about his arrest, his 43 days in prison, or conditions for his release. The status of the charges against him is unclear at this time.
Often in Iran, Christians are released from jail after making substantial bail payments, but the charges against them are never dropped. In this way, police can pick them up at any time in the future and can use the unresolved case against them to pressure them to cease Christian activities.
Please continue to pray for Pastor Asseriyan and his family. Pray also for other Christians who remain imprisoned in Iran. You can write letters of encouragement to several of them through the Prisoner Alert Web site.