ICC Note: A house church gathering in Tehran, Iran was raided by security forces and at least two Christians were arrested in a raid that took place earlier this month. The men are currently being held in Ghezal-Hesar prison, but the charges against them have not yet been made known. This is the latest in a series of crackdowns on Iranian churches. Nearly 50 Iranian Christians are known to be currently held in prison, and the full number is believed to be much higher.
08/28/2014 Iran (Mohabat News) – Many Churches have recently been closed in Iran and those that have remained open are forced to shut their doors on Farsi-speaking Christians, leaving no option for them but to gather in their homes to worship and study the Bible. In a most recent incident, Iranian security authorities raided one of these house-church gatherings in Tehran, arresting two of the Christian converts in attendance.
According to Mohabat News, reports from Tehran indicate that following the recent propaganda campaign against Iranian Christians, two Christian converts identified as Mehdi Vaziri and Amir Kian were arrested as they gathered for prayer and Bible study.
Confirmed reports from Tehran state that Iranian security authorities arrested the two Christian men on August 12, 2014, at 6 P.M. in a house near Azerbaijan Street in Tehran.
A knowledgeable source told Mohabat News, “The raid happened when the owner of the house, where the house-church service was being held, went out to guide two new believers to their gathering. When the authorities attacked, he was still out and because authorities still watch his house, he cannot return there”.
Families of the two men arrested in this attack made every effort to inquire about their whereabouts with no success for several days. They eventually found out that the men are being held in Ghezel-Hesar prison.
At the time of writing this report, there has been no further update on how they were arrested or what charges have been laid against them. However, since they were arrested as they attended a house-church service, it is most likely that they may be charged with action against national security, spying for foreigners or offenses of a similar nature.
Mehdi Vaziri, 28, is a graphic designer, and Amir Kian, 27, is a music graduate.
According to Iran’s law, which is based on Sharia law, converting from Islam to Christianity is considered apostasy.
Latest UN reports suggest, at least 49 Christian are imprisoned in Iran for faith-related charges. This is only the number of publicized cases and is by no means the real number of Iranian Christian prisoners.