TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)-- There was mounting concern Wednesday, November 27, about the fate of a Christian man who is jailed in Iran on charges of evangelism.
Hossein Saketi Aramsari, also known as Stephen among his friends, has been detained since July 23, including in the city of Karaj, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) west of Tehran, Iranian Christians said.
Activists said earlier that Iran's feared secret police arrested him on July 23 in the northeastern province of Golestan, where he was allegedly involved in evangelistic activities.
The man was transferred to several jails apparently to increase pressure on him, Iranian Christians said.
"He was transferred to Jajrom county jail, and then to the Intelligence Office in Bojnord, the capital of North Khorasan province. After 15 days in solitary confinement...on August 6, he was transferred to the Intelligence Office of Karaj, and held in solitary confinement in ward 8 of Rajaei-Shahr prison until October 26, 2013," said Mohabat News, an agency of Christians and activists.
"Ward 8 of the Rajaei-Shahr prison is managed by the Revolutionary Guards. After his time in solitary confinement, he was transferred to the Central Detention House in Karaj."
Last week, Iranian Christians said, Judge Mohammad-Yari of Branch 6 of the local Revolutionary Court "officially charged him with doing evangelism."
His supporters said Saketi's "fate is unknown" though they confirmed he was held in "ward 7 of Karaj Central Detention House" where another prisoner of conscience, Behnam Irani, is imprisoned as well.
It comes at a time when Iranian authorities have expressed concerns about rapidly spreading Christianity in the strict Islamic nation, especially in the past few years. "Conversion of youth and their families has become a major concern for the Iranian security authorities and Islamic leaders," Mohamat News said.
Case of those who have converted from Islam to Christianity has been processed faster in the past few months, Iranian Christians said. Church groups and missionaries estimate there may be at least 100,000 devoted Christians in Iran, though the real figure is believed to be several times higher.