Iran: mass arrests of Christian converts

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They refuse to recant their faith in Jesus

Iranian Christian beaten by police

By Dan Wooding

The mass arrests and disappearance of 40 Christians in Shiraz and Cavar by the state security agents of the Islamic Republic in late September was confirmed in the semiofficial media of Islamic Republic, reports the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN).

In a massive operation conducted by the agents of the Ministry of Islamic Information (Intelligence) in various parts of  Shiraz in the last days of September, some 30 Christians were arrested and transported to the ministry’s infamous detention center, locally known as “Number 100,” while others had already been detained, according to FCNN.

“Local sources inform us that at least ten of the captives are still in this detention center,” a FCCN spokesperson told ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net.) “The location of the other 20 is yet unknown, with the likelihood of some having been transferred to ‘Aadel-Aabad’ prison-fortress, just outside the city. Some of them may have been bailed.

“Sources maintain that one, or possibly more, of the detainees had previously been charged, convicted and jailed for evangelical activities amongst Muslims. Under intense security surveillance, it currently is not possible to publish the names and/or photographs of the recently arrested Christians of Shiraz.”

The news service says that during their Bail hearing, the Islamic Judge — “on his own authority” — added the “entirely spurious charges” of “Koran burning” and “Having contacts with enemies of the Islam abroad.”

The FCCN report added that the prisoners were then offered the opportunity to recant their faith in Jesus Christ. Once the Islamic Judge heard their refusal to comply with his demands, they were told of the extension of their detention for a further two months.

A number of other Christians in the city have been warned by the Islamic authorities to be prepared to be called in for interrogation on charges of evangelizing and baptizing converts from Islam.

One such Christian has been harassed for over two years and has repeatedly been summoned for interrogation by various Islamic security agencies.

“The ill-treatment of believers, and restrictions against church activities in the city of Shiraz; has caused considerable difficulties for city’s growing community of Christians,” concluded the FCCN spokesperson.

“They cannot openly practice their faith nor even talk about it or introduce their children to their Christian duties. The dark and menacing shadow of a steadily more fearsome Islamic Secret Police looms heavy.”

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