A minute for the persecuted church: Evin Prison, Iran
edited and submitted by Al Coats
This February marked the 40-year anniversary of the founding of the modern Islamic Republic of Iran. Over the last four decades, the regime has cultivated an institutional tool of repression so dark that it has earned an international reputation as a type of “torture factory.” Officially, however, it is known as Evin Prison.
Prisoners incarcerated here live in dismal conditions. Wards are overcrowded and lack basic necessities. Inmates have reported over 71 types of torture in Evin Prison. For those whose health deteriorates, medical abuse runs rampant.
Evin Prison is largely influenced by the Intelligence Ministry, which views Christians as a threat to national security. According to one report, Iran sends 60 percent of arrested Christians to Evin Prison. There, the authorities do everything in their power to dismantle the Church and intimidate Christians into renouncing their faith. Usually, the first month or two, there is torture to get all the information they can from the prisoner. If the prisoner dies under torture, they claim that he committed suicide.
Sometimes, Iran uses Evin Prison as a tool to intimidate entire families. The Iranian government definitely detains and raids the houses of individuals of those holding house church events. The authorities detain them and threaten their families. A lot of church leaders have no choice but to leave Iran for the sake of their family and loved ones.
Most of the arrested individuals are coerced to divulge information about their house-church activities and those of their friends, under threat of criminal prosecution or arrest of family members. Therefore, the case of every arrested Iranian believer is of utmost importance.
Iran intends Evin Prison to be a living coffin for Christians. But their testimony transcends this living grave, instead breathing new life into the Church. Many individuals have stood firm in their faith, refusing to end their sufferings by recanting their faith. We must keep all those Christians incarcerated in Evin Prison, in our prayers.