Iranian Christian Converts Arrested as They Celebrated Christmas


Date:  2013-12-29

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

IRAN (ANS) -- Iranian security authorities raided a house where a group of Christians had gathered to celebrate Christmas on Dec. 24.

They and arrested house owner Mr. Hosseini , Ahmad Bazyar, Faegheh Nasrollahi, Mastaneh Rastegari, and Amir-Hossein Ne'matollahi.

A story by Mohabat News Iranian Christian News Agency said The Committee of Human Rights Reporters reported that during the raid, plain clothes security insulted and searched people there, carefully searched the house and seized all the Christian books, CDs and laptops they found there. They also took the satellite TV receiver with them.

Authorities also searched the house of one of Mr. Hosseini's neighbors. Mohabat News said they insulted and beat the father, and told those there not to say a word about what they had seen.

There is no news on the whereabouts or condition of the Christians who were arrested.

In recent years, Mohabat News said, authorities have intensified their pressure and threats against Christians around Christmas. That has included arresting a number of Christians, and increasing their surveillance on churches.

While Christmas is a time of celebrations for Christians worldwide, Mohabat News said "with threats from the Islamic government, Christmas is a different experience for Iranian Christians."

Mohabat News said while his government continues to harass Iranian Christians and curtail their freedom, ironically, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sent Pope Francis Christmas greetings on Dec. 25.

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