“Security authorities of the Islamic Republic have started a broad systematic series of arrests in different parts of Iran, especially in Esfahan in an attempt to counter the growth of Christianity and the house church movement,” Mohabat News reports.
2/26/2012 Iran (Mohabat News) – Although it is two months since the New Year, as predicted, security forces of the Intelligence system of the Islamic Republic have increased their pressure against Christian converts. They do this every year at the same time as Christmas celebrations in Churches in Iran, especially among Farsi-speaking Christians.
According to Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, security authorities of the Islamic Republic have started a broad systematic series of arrests in different parts of Iran, especially in Esfahan in an attempt to counter the growth of Christianity and the house church movement. The arrests in Esfahan which began with the arrest of Hekmat Salimi, pastor of the official church of St. Paul, are a continuation of the series of arrests of Christians in Ahwaz and Shiraz. On the morning of February 22, 2012, security authorities attacked his home in Fooladshahr, arrested him without providing a reason and transferred him to an unknown location.
Based on a published report, following that raid, a 78 year old Christian lady, Ms. Giti Hakimpour, a member and minister of St. Luke’s church of Esfahan, was arrested in her flat that same day. Eyewitnesses said that there were both police and private cars parking down below her flat from 6 in the morning.
The continuation of coordinated arrests
The latest report by Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, indicates that a Christian convert by the name of Majid Enayat, a member of a house church was also arrested following the arrests of numerous Christians in Esfahan. Security authorities arrested him in his workplace on the same day as other detainees i.e. February 22.
After the arrest, security authorities went to his house, searched it and seized some of his personal property. Majid Enayat had just married in the latter part of last summer. The officers even took the movies of his wedding ceremony with them and there is a concern that security authorities will use those movies to identify their Christian friends and other contacts.