Barnabas Update – March 18th 2020
Iranian Christian prisoners and the coronavirus
Barnabas Fund 10 March 2020
The Iranian government has been continuing to release tens of thousands of prisoners serving sentences of less than 5 years, including a few Christians, to lessen the spread of coronavirus within prisons.
Among those released was Christian prisoner Ramiel Tamraz, who was freed on 26 February.
Official government statistics confirmed 145 coronavirus related deaths and 5823 cases of infection on 7 March, but some sources suggested the figures may be higher.
Schools and universities were closed down to prevent the spread of the virus.
Iran is in need of “urgent prayer”, an Iranian Christian told Barnabas, particularly for the cities of Tehran and Qom, where the outbreak of coronavirus is particularly severe.
“At the moment everyone is suffering. The issue is affecting everyone. The shortage of medical equipment, medical personnel and medicine are a very main concern. Lack of training is another one. People don’t know how to deal with it,” she explained. “Christians are pleading prayers and for God’s mercy for Iran and Iranians.”