Iran: detained Christians

According to Mohabat News, as a group of Christians had gathered in a house-church to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, Iranian security authorities raided the house where they had gathered and arrested six of those in attendance. Now, more than a month after the incident, their fate is still unknown.

Those arrested are Ehsan Sadeghi, Nazi Irani, Maryam Assadi, Ali Arfa’e, Vahid Safi and Amin Mazloomi.

Based on reports, Iranian plain-clothes authorities raided Mrs. Assadi’s house, where an Easter worship service was hosted, and arrested six of those attending the service. Authorities intimidated residents and transferred the six Christians detainees to an unknown location in a white van.

Easter is one of the most important Christian celebrations.

Authorities searched the house thoroughly and confiscated Christian-related notes, books and other Christian educational materials.

The latest reports by Iranian Human Rights activists indicate that after persistent follow up by families of these Christian detainees, they were told that their loved ones are in the custody of the intelligence division of a military organization (possibly Revolutionary Guards), and only after their investigation is complete will they be able to contact them. Also, these families were strongly warned against publicizing this case, or “accepting any interviews by people they don’t know”.

However, Mr. Mazloomi’s family were able to have a brief conversation with him.

In the meantime, a knowledgeable source reported that two of these Christian detainees, namely Vahid Safi and Ehsan Sadeghi, are Afghan residents in Iran.

Now, more than a month after the incident, these Christian detainees have not even been officially charged and officials have refused to give a reason for their arrest.

Many ‘so called’ official churches in Iran have been closed down in Tehran as well as in other cities. Therefore Christians gather in their homes to worship and study the Bible.

Christianity is rapidly growing in Iran, especially in recent years, and has become a serious concern for the Iranian government. Their major concern seems to be the ever increasing number of young people and their families who convert to Christianity.

Meanwhile, some extremist Iranian media, like Fars News Agency, claim that Christianity “is a threat to national security and misleads the youth.”

This crackdown on Iranian Christians is part of the Iranian government’s general policy.


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