Date: January 28, 2013
Evin Prison (Photo courtesy of Sabzphoto)
Iran (MNN) ― An Armenian Iranian pastor was recently released from the notorious Evin Prison in Iran after posting $60,000 of his personal property for bail.
Reverend Vruir Avanessian, 60, was released on January 10. He is currently waiting for his court summons.
According to The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), Rev. Avanessian was released because of serious health problems and special medical requirements. He retired from ministry at the Assemblies of God Church in Iran due to these health conditions.
Rev. Avanessian suffers from heart disease, diabetes, and kidney dysfunction. He requires dialysis cleansing of his blood every other day at the dialysis clinic of Hashemi-Nejad Hospital. According to VOM’s source Mohabat News, his wife was concerned that security authorities wouldn’t pay close attention to his medical needs which could result in blood poisoning.
Charges and reasons for Rev. Avanessian’s arrest are still unknown. But according to Mohabat News, his arrest was likely because of alleged contacts with Iranian Christian converts.
Rev. Avanessian was arrested and about 50 other men and women detained at a gathering for a Christmas celebration.
Sources told Mohabat News that plainclothes secret police from the Ministry of Information carried out a pre-planned raid on the host’s house and held the attendees for several hours. Policemen said they were acting because neighbors complained about the noise.
The detainees were interrogated and ordered to provide their full name, address, cellphone number, and personal information like Facebook and e-mail account IDs and passwords.
During the raid, Rev. Avanessian was taken from the group to an unknown location for further interrogation. Reports through Mohabat News indicate that officers also went to Rev. Avanessian’s home and ransacked it in front of his wife and children. They confiscated books, Bibles, a personal computer, CDs, worship tapes, and music albums.
Please pray for Rev. Avanessian’s health and for the persecution to end.