ICC Note: ICC learned yesterday of three Christians who were arrested in Iran yesterday for conversion. One of these Christians was a pastor of a local church in Iran. Their current location has not been identified. Several Bibles were taken when they were arrested, along with a personal computer and religious pamphlets. Security forces released later that they were found guilty of actions against national security and propaganda against the government. This is just one of many human rights abuses that have been reported from Iran.
07/09/14 Iran (Christian Today) – Three Christians, including Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, have been arrested by Iranian security forces, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has confirmed.
Pastor Matthias, from Bandar Anzali, was arrested along with two friends, Mohammad Roghangir and Suroush Saraie, at his home on 5 July at 8.30am. Their current location is not yet known.
Several Bibles were allegedly confiscated from the pastor’s house during the arrest, along with pamphlets and a personal computer.
It is not the first time the three have been targeted; Pastor Matthias has already served jail sentences three times, and his two contemporaries were among those arrested in October 2012 during a prayer meeting.
The group were later found guilty of “action against the national security” and “propaganda against the order of the system” and sentenced to prison.
Chief Executive of CSW Mervyn Thomas has said the organisation is “deeply concerned” by the latest developments.
“These men have been targeted by the Iranian authorities in the past, and despite the political charges being levied against them, they were clearly arrested on account of their faith,” he said in a statement.
“We urge the Government of Iran to halt its harassment and imprisonment of religious minorities and to uphold freedom of religion or belief, as outlined in covenants to which Iran is party. In addition, the international community must hold Iran to account for the wellbeing of prisoners of conscience.”