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IRAN- Consipracy to arrest two Christian Web Bloggers in Isfahan

ICC Note

Iran has continued its crack down on Christians. According to this latest report Iranian security officials detained two converts to Christianity.

03/24/2009 Iran (FCNN)-Two newly converted Christians in a preplanned and fake setting of an underground church meeting were arrested by security intelligence officers and as of yet there is no news of their whereabouts.

According to information received by the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN), a 30 years old Christian man by the name of Mazaher R., who had been active in web-blogging and Christian evangelism via internet, was befriended by a person who was a local resident of Isfahan and introduced himself as Pastor Reza.

This man, Pastor Reza, invited the Christian web blogger to meet him at a location in order to fellowship and be better acquainted with each other.

Our brother Mazaher, along with his sister, and another web blogger named Hamed S. met this man called Reza on February 22, 2009 at a pre-designated location.

These 3 believers met Reza and another lady called Maria, who was introduced as Reza’s wife, met at the prearranged location. After some introductory conversation, Pastor Reza invited the 3 Christians to accompany him and his wife to a secret home church meeting, located on Ordibehesht Street near the Felezi Bridge in Isfahan , where he was to baptize a new convert in water.

After a considerable travel to this location, this alleged pastor mentions that the location arrived at was his home church building. Upon entering the alleged house, the 3 Christians were attacked by plain clothes officers, blindfolded, handcuffed, and taken away to unknown location.

Following this incident, on February 5th, a day after the arrests, plain clothes officers entered the home of Mazaher’s father and confiscated computers, printers, and several CD disks.

According to credible sources, Mazaher’s sister who was arrested along with her brother and one other web logger, was severely interrogated and ultimately, after one week, and the discovery that she was merely an innocent person and had accompanied her brother and had no connection to any Christian web blogging, was released from custody.

The families of the arrested men, upon returning to the location where the alleged home church had been and the arrests had taken place, discovered through interviewing the neighbors, that the house had been vacant for a long time and there was never any person by the name of Pastor Reza living or working in that area.

According to the report prepared by the Christian Committee of the Human Rights Activists, and the published news surrounding these events and the destruction of several Christian websites by the revolutionary army officers which has resulted in several arrests, one can speculate that this event was a nothing more than set up for entrapment and is not unrelated to recent closures of Christian websites and web blogging sites.

In recent times, the Islamic Republic has embarked upon a campaign of indentifying and closing down of all non-Islamic websites that promote Christian teachings or distribute anti-government and anti-human rights news.