Iran: Mass Arrests of New Christian Converts in Shiraz
Posted: 10/18/2012 at 10:48am
Many refuse to recant their faith in Jesus Christ
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
SHIRAZ, SOUTHERN IRAN (ANS) -- The mass arrests and disappearance of 40 Christians in Shiraz and Cavar by the state security agents of the Islamic Republic in late September 2012, has been confirmed in the semiofficial media of Islamic Republic, reports FCNN (http://www.fcnn.com/index.php?Itemid=587), the Farsi Christian News Network
In a report filed from Shiraz in southern Iran, FCCN states that in a "massive operation" conducted by the agents of the Ministry of Islamic Information (Intelligence) in various parts of the provincial capital city of Shiraz in the last days of September, some 30 Christians were arrested and transported to the ministry's own infamous private detention center, locally known as "Number 100," while others had already been detained.
Illustration from FCCN
"Local sources inform us that at least ten of the captives are still in this detention center," a FCCN spokesperson told the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net.) "The location of the other 20 is yet unknown, with the likelihood of some having been transferred to 'Aadel-Aabad' prison-fortress, just outside the city. Some of them may have been bailed.
"Sources maintain that one, or possibly more, of the detainees had previously been charged, convicted and jailed for evangelical activities amongst Muslims. Under intense security surveillance, it currently is not possible to publish the names and/or photographs of the recently arrested Christians of Shiraz."
FCCN goes on to say that court attendance scheduled after eight months of illegal detention conveniently for the Islamic authorities; this new wave of arrests coincides with the notice of court appearance by the previously arrested Christians in Shiraz.
"Since their arrest on February 8, 2012, there have been numerous reports of their abuse at the hands of the arresting agents -- the Islamic interrogators. During their months-long illegal imprisonment, they have endured harsh treatment during their lengthy illegal imprisonment, as well as mishandling of their legal rights by the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic."
After months of unlawful imprisonment, Mr. Homayoun Shokohi, his wife Mrs. Fariba Nazemian, as well as Mr., Vahid Hakani, Mr., Korush Partoey, and Mr. Mojtaba Ala' edin Hossein, were due to about to appear before the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Shiraz to answer the charges brought against them.
"In July of 2012, having endured nearly five months of unlawful captivity without charge, and denied legal aid of any sort; these innocent Christians were finally released on bail," said the FCCN spokesperson.
The news service says that during their Bail hearing, the Islamic Judge --- "on his own authority" -- added the "entirely spurious charges" of "Koran burning" and "Having contacts with enemies of the Islam abroad."
The FCCN report added that the prisoners were then offered the opportunity to recant their faith in Jesus Christ. Once the Islamic Judge heard their refusal to comply with his demands, they were told of the extension of their detention for a further two months.
The news service went on to say that FCCN that, apart from the five mentioned above, two of whom are under arrest for the second time on charges of "evangelizing Muslims," a number of other Christians in the city have been warned by the Islamic authorities to be prepare to be called in for interrogation on charges of evangelizing and baptizing converts from Islam.
One such Christian has been so harassed for over two years now and has repeatedly been summoned for interrogation by various Islamic security agencies.
"The ill-treatment of believers, and restrictions against church activities in the city of Shiraz; has caused considerable difficulties for city's growing community of Christians," concluded the FCCN spokesperson.
"They cannot openly practice their faith nor even talk about it or introduce their children to their Christian duties. The dark and menacing shadow of a steadily more fearsome Islamic Secret Police looms heavy."
Source: ANS www.assistnews.net