christian news

Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » One Iranian Pastor Still Jailed

Whereabouts of evangelical convert from Islam unknown.

by Barbara G. Baker

ISTANBUL, September 14 (Compass) — Protestant church leaders in Iran learned this morning that one of 10 evangelical pastors reportedly released from detention by police authorities on September 12 is still being held incommunicado.

Assemblies of God Pastor Hamid Pourmand, 47, has not returned to his home in Bandar-i Bushehr, nor has he been in touch with any of his relatives or friends. He is presumed to remain under police arrest in the Karaj-Tehran area, where he was initially detained with other church leaders on September 9.

Eighty leaders of Iran’s Assemblies of God Church had convened for their annual general conference in Karaj when police swarmed into the church-owned center on the morning of September 9. All were blindfolded and taken away to be fingerprinted and interrogated. Although most were released by evening, the 10 pastors among them were held for questioning for four days. (See “Iranian Police Release 10 Evangelical Pastors,” September 13.)

When the other pastors were released separately late in the night of September 12, they were strictly warned not to contact one another or other members of the church. So it was not until this morning that the Assemblies of God leadership discovered that in fact Pourmand was still missing.

A former Muslim who converted to Christianity nearly 25 years ago, Pourmand pastors a congregation in Bandar-i Bushehr, along the Persian Gulf in southern Iran. He and his wife, who is of Assyrian Christian background, have two children.

Since the government-ordered execution of convert pastor Hussein Soodmand in Mashhad in December 1990, the Islamic Republic of Iran has enacted a harsh crackdown against the country’s evangelical churches and various house-church movements accused of evangelizing Muslims.

Another long-term convert to Christianity, Assemblies of God pastor Mehdi Dibaj was murdered in July 1994. After being jailed for nine years for refusing to recant his Christian faith and return to Islam, Dibaj was killed just six months after his release from prison.

Two years later, the body of Pastor Mohammed Bagher Yusefi was found hanging in the forest near his home in Sari, in northern Iran’s Mazandaran province. Survived by his wife and two children, 34-year-old Yusefi had converted to Christianity 10 years earlier.

Over the past decade, local Protestant congregations who allow Muslims to visit their services or are suspected of baptizing former Muslims converting to Christianity have been harshly suppressed by the Iranian authorities.

“Government actions create a threatening atmosphere for some religious minorities,” last year’s U.S. State Department report on religious freedom in Iran declared, “especially Baha’is, Jews and evangelical Christians.”

No Comment

Leave a Reply

Copyright 1999-2015 Worthy News. All rights reserved.

Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

What is Worthy News?

Worthy News is an independent Christian news agency which reports news not covered by other outlets, on key developments in a rapidly changing world. Worthy News reaches both Christians and non-Christians around the globe and strives to be balanced and make a difference in these strategic times.

Worthy News. Reliable-Trustworthy-Cutting Edge

Recommended Links

  • Editor’s Blog

    • Historical Cyclical Patterns Emerging in Greece
      Greece defaulted on its IMF loan last night. It is interesting that it was actually the Greek Philosopher Plato who was the first to advocate the "credit" theory of money. His prized student, Aristotle, who […]
    • Reader Question: Where do you get that Sept. 23, 2015 is Jubilee (of Jerusalem)?
      First of all, it is important to know that God is not working on our Gregorian calendar but He is rather fulfilling His Word according to the calendar that He established, which is a 360 […]
    • Are you looking back? Remember Lot's Wife!
      As this shocking Supreme Court decision on Gay marriage settles into the nation, I'm reminded of the passage in Luke where Yeshua (Jesus) told us one of the final signs of His return. He said it […]
    • Supreme Court: Not One but THREE Strikes!
      Most are aware of the recent decision by the Supreme Court on the issue of same-sex marriage, but many may not realize that this was only one of the history-making decisions reached this session. This past month, […]
    • The Water Breaking Moment?
      In Matthew 24, Yeshua (Jesus) makes an interesting correlation between the end of the age and a woman giving birth. [Matthew 24:8]. As the birth of a baby draws near, the birth pangs intensify, and […]
    • Prophetic Calendar for 2015
      As requested by many and after much prayer and research, I have compiled a list of significant events over which we must be praying in the coming months. By listing these events, let it be […]
  • Editor’s Picks

  • 1999-2015 Worthy News » One Iranian Pastor Still Jailed