Iran Reports Arrest of Christian Evangelist

12/11/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Iranian media is reporting the arrest of an unnamed Christian near the Azerbaijan border. Very little information about the arrested individual is shared. However, the report does cite some of the so-called justifications of arrest as including “publicize evangelical Christianity,” “establish house churches,” and “destroy Abrahamic religions (by) disturbing public opinion in the public and virtual spheres.” A number of items related to this individual were confiscated.

Though no other information is known about the individual, Iran’s record of mistreating religious minorities foreshadows significant challenges that the evangelist may face. It is common for arrested individuals to be disappeared for several days while the authorities interrogate the detainee. The charges which are filed are often of a national security nature. The conditions of incarceration are often filled with a blatant disregard for human dignity. Christians are given long sentences in prison, where they are effectively cut off from their families and friends.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom rates Iran as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern.

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