It isn't often that we have good news to report about persecuted or imprisoned Christians.
Today is one of those rare exceptions.
We're pleased to inform our readers and viewers that Present Truth Ministries has learned the Iranian government has finally allowed doctors to perform much needed surgery on imprisoned Pastor Benham Irani.
Irani has been jailed in Karaj, Iran since May 2011--more than a year longer than Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini. Pastor Benham needed urgent medical care because he suffered from a herniated disc and frequent intestinal bleeding. It's likely that both conditions were at least aggravated, if not created by the torturous beatings he endured while in custody.
Friends and family members worried that Pastor Beham would die without urgent medical care. PTM's Jason DeMars says Irani is now doing much better since the Feb. 22 surgery.
The house church leader was first arrested in December 2006 on charges that he was acting against Iranian national secuirity. His five-year sentence was suspended, but was later re-imposed after his third arrest and conviction in 2011.
Rarely does the Islamic government arrest and imprison Christians on charges of prosyletism, or conversion. The charge is always "crimes against the state" or against "Iranian national security." The government apparently feels Christians sharing their faith with their fellow countrymen threatens Iranian national security. That's because the ayatollahs fear Islam--and their privileges as rulers--would likely disappear if Christians were free to share Christ with Muslims.
So, Beham Irani's wife Christine, daughter Rebecca, and son Adriel are forced to endure more painful and lonely nights without him. But at least today they--and we--can be thankful for this delayed act of compassion and mercy.
Rejoice! It's answered prayer. Keep writing letters on behalf of Pastor Benham and keep praying for this faithful Christian prisoner and his family.
Watch this Pastor Beham update from Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries: