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Iran Arrests 9 Christians for Evangelism, Reports State Media

By Ethan Cole

9/16/2010 Iran (The Christian Post) – Iran has arrested nine Christians on the charge of evangelism, according to a report picked up by a Persian language Christian news agency Tuesday.

Seven Christian Iranians were accused of cooperating with two foreigners who were supported by “Christian-Zionist organizations,” reported the Farsi Christian News Network based on a state news program that aired Sept. 10 on the Fars News Agency. The Fars News Agency is connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a branch of Iran’s military.

According to the report, the Christians were accused of proselytizing – which is illegal in Iran – outside of the Northwest city of Hamedan. The term “Christian Zionists” is often used by the Iranian government to refer to evangelical Christians and does not imply any relationship with Israel or Zionists.

While the nationalities of the two foreigners were not identified, the authority in the report said the supporting organizations are based in the United States and Great Britain.

A security official announced the arrest – something not typically done in the Islamic republic. According to FCNN, it is the first time in some 30 years that a state TV station has broadcasted news about the arrest of a group of Christians.

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