Friday, 20 December 2013

New Prisoner Alert Factsheet: VRUIR AVANESSIAN - Iran


P r i s o n e r    P r o f i l e

 Vruir Avanessian

Prisoner Name: Vruir Avanessian
Location: Iran
Date Arrested: December 2013
Date Revised: 19 December 2013

Pastor Vruir Avanessian, 61, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on Dec. 5, 2013 for anti-government activities and the promotion of ideas contrary to the sanctity of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Pastor Avanessian was arrested Dec. 27, 2012 as he gathered at a private home with other Christians to celebrate Christmas. The pastor is an ordained minister in the officially-registered Assemblies of God Church in Iran and of Armenian heritage, Iran's largest Christian religious minority. He has served as a pastor for more than 17 years.

One of the most concerning aspects of Pastor Avanessian's case is his serious medical condition. The pastor suffers from heart disease and diabetes. He undergoes kidney dialysis three times a week at a private clinic in Tehran, and has been retired from active ministry due to his medical condition. He was unable to attend his own court hearing because he was receiving dialysis at the time. The court was fully aware of the pastor's health, and issued the three-and-a half year sentence anyway. Friends and family are extremely concerned about Pastor Avanessian's ability to withstand the rigors of prison.

Pastor Avanessian's initial court hearing was held on Sept. 7, 2013. The hearing was held behind closed doors and was closed to the public. After that hearing, the judge stated that until a verdict was announced, Pastor Avanessian was to remain at home and avoid all contact with other Christians. After the verdict was handed down, he was given 20 days to file a complaint.

According to Mohabat News and other sources, the Iranian government has been on a campaign of arresting Armenian-Iranian Christian leaders who are actively involved in the evangelisation of Farsi-speaking Iranians. In recent months several of these leaders have been summoned or  arrested by security forces and warned to completely stop their ministry activities or leave the country within 90 days. The central branch of the Assemblies of God Church in Tehran, the largest Farsi-speaking church in Iran, was ordered to be closed in May 2013, and its leader arrested.

What You Can Do?

  • Pray for Pastor Vruir Avanessian. 
  • Post this Prisoner Profile on the bulletin board in your church, Sunday School class or Christian school.
  • Share a copy with your pastor, members of your Bible study group or other Christian friends.
  • Write to Paster Vruir Avanessian.

Address for Vruir Avanessian:

Evin Prison
Saadat Abad
Islamic Republic of Iran

Please Note!

When writing a letter, never mention the name of the source of your information or the name of any organization such as Voice of the Martyrs or Prisoner Alert. It is not dangerous for a prisoner to receive letters from individuals, but if an organization is mentioned they may be accused of links with 'foreign organizations' and receive harsher sentences. Also, please do not state anything negative about their government. For the latest information, including letter writing tools and helps, please visit

Visit for updates on this prisoner.

Vruir Avanessian is also a talented singer! Below is a video of one of his songs:

Vruir Avanessian-Shahre Nasereh وروير آوانسيان شهر ناصره 

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