IRAN – On May 12, Iranian police arrested 12 known Muslim converts to Christianity and confiscated their books, computers and printers in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz.
According to Compass Direct News, “The arrests began at 5 a.m. on May 11, when two couples were taken into custody before boarding their flights at the Shiraz International Airport and sent directly to jail. All four were subjected to hours of interrogation, questioning them solely ‘just about their faith and house church activities.'”
Compass Direct News added that the detained Christians had been identified as: Homayon Shokohie Gholamzadeh, 48; his wife, Fariba Nazemiyan Pur, 40; Amir Hussein Bab Anari, 25; and his wife, Fatemeh Shenasa, 25. Although the two wives were released the same day, Anari was detained until May 14, and Gholamzadeh remains in jail.
“Two hours after the early arrests of May 11, police authorities invaded the home of Hamid Allaedin Hussein, 58, arresting him and his three adult children: Fatemah, 28; Muhammed Ali, 27; and Mojtaba, 21. All the family’s books, CDs and computers were hauled off as well. Hussein, his daughter and one son were released later the same day, but son Mojtaba remains in prison,” Compass Direct added.
According to Compass Direct News, “Two days later [May 13], local police picked up two more former Muslims involved in a separate house church in Shiraz, as the Christian converts were talking together in a city park. Both men, Mahmood Matin and a second man identified only as Arash, are still jailed. Still another arrest incident was reported last month in the northern city of Amol, in Mazandaran province near the Caspian Sea. Two of the arrested converts to Christianity, one a pregnant woman, are still imprisoned, with no news of their whereabouts.”
In recent years, Iran’s Shiite Muslim government has cracked down on Christians involved in the growing house church movement, often resulting in arrests, harassment and intimidation. Some arrested converts to Christianity have been physically and psychologically mistreated and held for extended periods of time.
The Voice of the Martyrs actively supports Christians in Iran. VOM encourages you to pray for these courageous believers who face challenges every day because of their faith in Jesus Christ.