by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Eight Iranian Christians were arrested by Iranian intelligence officials at the beginning of July, and are currently being held at an undisclosed Intelligence Ministry site in Bushehr, a southern port city on the Persian Gulf.
The houses and workplaces of the Christians were ransacked, and Bibles, cell phones, hard drives, IDs, credit cards and everything else containing the personal information of the detainees taken as evidence against the recent converts, according to Article 18, a religious freedom organization.
Khatoon Fatolahzadeh, an elderly woman, was released due to her age after six cars carrying Iranian intelligence agents surrounded her house.
A State Department report released at the end of June found that little to no religious freedom existed in Iran, with Christian converts punished as apostatizing or heretical Muslims, the religious status of citizens having been enshrined in Iranian law as a fixed and unchanging category after the 1979 revolution.
A strict “prohibition on proselytizing” enforced through panoptic Iranian intelligence services, who monitor and track converts, was another find of the report.
On April 16 other Christians in the same city lost their appeals and were sentenced for “propaganda activities against the regime through the formation of house churches.”
Iran is currently number 9 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List for Christian persecution.