Jailed Iranian Pastor Behnam Irani Shares Christian Joy In Christmas Letter

Jailed Iranian pastor Behnam Irani, who was last month denied hospitalization despite his critical condition, wrote a letter from his prison cell days before Christmas, ministering to Christians in his country and thanking God for letting him share "very little of" Jesus' suffering on the cross.

"Despite the pressure and difficulties in prison, I am pleased to share, what is like a fountain, my Christian joy with you in the new Christmas days to come," wrote Irani, who is currently serving a six-year sentence, according to the letter translated by Minnesota-based Present Truth Ministries, which has missionaries and pastors working in various Middle Eastern countries.

"My brothers and sisters, I love you all. Christ has given you to me on Calvary. Even if I were sentenced to many years behind bars for the salvation of one of you, there would never be any complaint," said the pastor in his 40s in the letter, seemingly written to the people he has ministered to and Christian workers in Iran.

Before his arrest in 2011 for "acting against the interests of national security. Irani was leading the Church of Iran in the city of Karaj in Alborz Province. He has been tortured in prison and was denied hospitalization for a bleeding ulcer. He had been found several times unconscious in his prison cell when visited, raising fears for his well-being.

But Irani is still thinking of the well-being of his people. "You are so precious that God himself braved the death on the cross. Do I or other servants not have to bear imprisonment for you?" Irani added. "I wish you can love each other as much as I love you, at least. Sooner or later our earthly settlement will end, and we will leave the world with all its attractions. Please do not let any earthly attraction prevent you from sweet Christian relations."

Irani also sought to warn and encourage Christian workers, asking them to fix their eyes on spiritual things and not on worldly problems and temptations. "There were times when I was being tempted and paying more attention to my future during my ministry as a servant of Christ," he wrote, adding that verses from the Bible serving as "a red light stopped me, even though I was sometimes fined for passing this red light."

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SOURCE: Christian Post
Anugrah Kumar
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