12/17/2018 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this month, Iranian media announced a widespread detainment of Christians across the country. ICC reported how over 100 Christians were detained by the Iranian intelligence officials as part of this crackdown. New information about four of these Christians has since arisen.
Thirteen Iranian Revolutionary Guards dressed in plain clothes raided four Christian homes on December 2nd in the city of Ahvaz, which is located in the south near the border with Iraq. The names of the arrested Christians are Shima Zanganeh, Shokoofeh Zanganeh, Farzad Behzadi and Abdollah Yousefi. Reports indicate that the two women, Shima and Shokoofeh, were physical assaulted during subsequent interrogation. They were transferred to Sepidar Prison on December 12th and a judge has set a bail of $44,000 each. The whereabouts of the two other Christians, Farzad and Abdollah, remain unknown.
It is common for the Iranian authorities to increase the number of arrests of Christians during the Christmas season. This situation is often referred to as a “Christmas present” from the Iranian authorities. While Christianity is technically protected by the Iranian constitution, the conversion from Islam to Christianity is not. Most of the church in Iran is composed of Muslim Background Believers. For this reason, they are hard pressed by the authorities who wish to see the church remain underground.
For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].