Reports from Iran indicate that five Christian converts from a house-church in eastern Tehran were arrested during a Christmas celebration. Iranian Christian converts face constant restrictions and persecution.
In a report published by Mohabat News, we learn Iranian security authorities raided a house owned by Mr. Hosseini, where a group of Christians had gathered on Christmas Eve. Those arrested are Mr. Hosseini , Ahmad Bazyar, Faegheh Nasrollahi, Mastaneh Rastegari, and Amir-Hossein Ne’matollahi.
The report stated: “These Christians had gathered to worship and celebrate birth of Jesus.”
The NCRI, a Foreign Affairs Committee of Human Rights in Iran reported that security forces and plainclothes agents raided the residence, arrested the Christians and seized their books, CDs, computer laptop and satellite receiver. Adding in their report that “security forces also raided the neighbor who was watching the scene and threatened him to keep silent.
Mohabat News reported that the authorities had searched the neighbors house, insulted and beat the father of the family and then warned them not to speak with anyone about what they had witnessed. Excessive and an extreme form of intimidation.
There is no update about the whereabouts or condition of these arrested Christians.
Iran has intensified their pressure and threats against Christians. And during the last few Christmas seasons, intimidation and surveillance of churches has increased.
In the past few years Christian converts have been arrested or faced other persecution during the Christmas holiday. A large number of Christians converts were arrested in Tehran as part of pre-organized attacks by government authorities.
Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, sent Pope Francis Christmas greetings while his government continues to harass Iranian Christians and restrict their freedom.