Iranian security authorities raided an Easter service in a house-church in southern Tehran, on Friday, April 18, arresting those in attendance.
According to Mohabat News, Human Rights news sources in Iran reported that five of those arrested in the raid are identified as Ehsan Sadeghi, Nazi and Maryam Asadi, Vahid Safi, and Amin Mazloomi.
These reports indicate that plain-clothes security authorities raided Ms. Asadi’s house, where a house-church service was being held. The Authorities were armed and carrying walkie-talkies. They terrified those in the house-church and began searching the house. They eventually transferred all in attendance to an unknown location using two white vans.
Neighbors of Ms. Asadi said that the security authorities were very disrespectful to those in the house-church as well as to the neighbors. They also went on the roof top of the apartment building and broke satellite dishes belonging to other residents of the building.
There are no details available regarding these detainees’ whereabouts currently and efforts of their families to find out about their situation have not been effective.
A large group of Iranian Christians with Islamic backgrounds have been arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms in recent years. Numerous Farsi-speaking official Churches have been closed down and banned from any religious activities as well.
Last month, Ahmad Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, released an extensive report on Human Rights violations in Iran. In that report he had warned that Human Rights and basic freedoms of Iranian citizens are widely violated on a regular basis.
Mr. Shaheed also expresses serious concerns over the persecution of Christians who have converted from Islam along with Baha’is, Dervishes and Sunni Muslims.
The European Parliament released a resolution on Iran criticizing the country for discriminating on the basis of ethnicity, gender and religion, including against Baha’is and Christians.