Iran: Eleven Christians arrested while attending a mass at a house church

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In line with National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI ), eleven Iranian Christians were hooked from a house-church in Isfahan. NCRI further stated that the incident took place last week when plain clothes intelligence agents conducted a raid on August 12.

Christian persecution in Iran

Eye-witnesses claim the agents, who had conducted raid, were armed with pistols and carrying walkie-talkies as they raided the church while a mass was being served. What is more the intelligence agents seized all the books and Christian literature found in the church.

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Ten out of the eleven Christian arrested have been named by the authorities while one person’s identity has not been revealed. Those detained include Amin Ahanin, Mohammad Alyasi, Fatemeh Amini, Edmund Khachaturian, Mohammad Malek Khatai, Mohsen Khoobyari, Arash Qodsi, Hamed Sepidkar, Samaneh Shahbazi-Far and Maryam Zonubi. Nonetheless, the status of the detainees has not been made known.

National Council of Resistance of Iran stated: “Iran’s ruling theocracy is rightly a source of grave concern for human rights organizations and institutions with a particular interest in the protection of the rights of Christians. Reports by the UN Secretary General, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, and the U.S. State Department all indicate that the repression of Christians has not only continued but intensified during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani.”

United States Commission for International Religious Freedom in its annual report stated: “Over the past year, there were numerous incidents of Iranian authorities raiding church services, threatening church members, and arresting and imprisoning worshipers and church leaders, particularly Evangelical Christian converts.”

“Since 2010, authorities arbitrarily arrested and detained more than 550 Christians throughout the country. As of February 2016, approximately 90 Christians were either in prison, detained, or awaiting trial because of their religious beliefs and activities.”