In recent years, concern has grown in the West for those suffering in the East. Today, I found that the reverse is also true. Compassion in its true sense means to suffer with another. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” –Galatians 6:2
Farshid Fathi was arrested on Dec. 26, 2010 in a wave of arrests of believers in Tehran and other areas. Of the 22 believers arrested by security forces in Tehran, 10 were released after intense questioning and after they signed agreements to refrain from Christian activities. Eleven others were also later released. By the end of April, 2011, only Farshid remained in prison, though his family had paid an enormous bail sum. He spent
nearly a year in solitary confinement.
Farshid, a Christian convert from Islam, was charged with “acting against national security through membership of a Christian organization, collection of funds, propaganda against
the Islamic Regime by helping spread Christianity in the country,” and sentenced to six years of imprisonment on March 5, 2012. Though the charge is for his Christian work, authorities tried to cast his activities as political offenses.
Farshid’s appeal against the charges was rejected in June 2012. He is due to serve the rest of his sentence in Evin Prison.
According to Elam Ministries, Farshid is a shining beacon for Christ in Evin, so much so that the son of an Iranian ayatollah commented on Farshid’s sweet nature in a YouTube video. The two shared a cell. The man remarked on how beloved Farshid is among the inmates. Elam described Farshid as “a man after God’s own heart.”
Farshid is married to Leila, and has two children, Rosana and Bardia. Pray that they will be comforted during this time. Pray for steadfast endurance, deep Godly peace and for protection for Farshid in prison. Pray he will remain a shining light in prison and pray for his release.
Letter from Farshid to Newtown
The following is excerpted from a letter Farshid wrote to the parents of the children killed in Newtown, CT.
“I am so sorry and you are in my prayers. I am sure these high walls cannot stop my prayers for you. Before this tragedy happened, I was thinking about my suffering that I’m going through because of my Lord Jesus Christ, especially being far from my lovely kids.. But when I imagine how hard your pain is I forget my sufferings. Because I know by God’s grace I will see my kids at the latest in 2017 when I come out from prison. But unfortunately you have to wait a bit longer.”