The official coronavirus death toll soared past 200 yesterday in Iran, and critics claim the number is much higher. To stem the tide of new infections, officials have released more than 100,000 prisoners to date – including at least six believers.
Middle East Concern’s Daniel Hoffman says 21-year old Mary Mohammadi was among them. “She is active in a movement that tries to get official recognition or Iranians who converted to Christianity,” he says.
“Most of these are based outside of Iran, but she is one of the very few who is involved with this movement very publicly inside the country.”
Coronavirus in Iran
As previously noted, Iranian officials tried to minimize the extent of coronavirus infections from the beginning. However, as more high-level officials become ill and subsequently die, it’s harder to cover up.
On Sunday, government health officials announced 49 new deaths related to the coronavirus, bringing the total death toll to 194 and the number of infections to 6,566. The following day, those numbers climbed again to 237 deaths and 7,161 infections.
Reporting from Tehran, FRANCE 24’s Reza Sayah says schools and universities have been closed until early April:
“In less than two weeks, it’s Nowruz, the Persian New Year, perhaps the biggest and most popular national holiday when Iranians get together and socialise with family and friends. That’s not going to happen the way it usually does, and that’s another hit to this country that has seen many crises over the past couple of years.”
Trouble may be widespread, but there are a few glimmers of hope.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News,
CALL TO ACTION
- Ask the Lord to have mercy on Iran and to help His people persevere.
- Pray for God’s encouragement, provision, and protection over those who are currently in the prison system or who are before the courts.
- Pray Mary will know God’s peace that transcends understanding and that she will be healed of the trauma from prison.
- Pray that Mary’s lawyer will be able to defend her well, and that Mary will be acquitted of any crime related to peaceful expression or protest.