Iran Detains Christian Blogger

Thursday, January 28, 2021

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - A Christian online writer who already received lashes for expressing her faith in Christ and criticizing Iran’s human rights abuses has been detained again, supporters said Thursday.

On January 18, Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi was reportedly detained as Iran’s "morality police" claimed that her hijab was not correctly adjusted, her coat was unbuttoned, and her pants were too tight.

She faced similar charges in the past, though her primary "crime" has been her faith in Christ, commented advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC).

The young blogger was previously imprisoned for being a member of a house church. In April 2020, she received a suspended sentence, plus ten lashes for "disturbing public order," according to Christians familiar with the case.

Before the recent brief arrest, she could not return to her work as a gymnastics instructor, despite having good relations with her employer, Christians said.

Mohammadi claims intelligence officials pressured her boss not to employ her. She was allegedly told by her former employer that they “have a young child and, therefore, can't take the risk of allowing her back at work.”

It was not immediately clear when and if she will face another jail term. But VOMC said the woman is among “the many other believers in Iran” who need prayers.

They “are facing imprisonment, fines and other forms of punishment because of their dedication to Christ” in the strict Islamic nation, the group said. However, the High Council for Human Rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran has denied allegations of torture, mistreatment, arbitrary detainment of Christians, raiding of religious gatherings, and unjust punishment.

Regarding confiscation of property, Iran’s response noted they only seized items associated with crimes and were often later returned.

However, Christians say Bibles and Christian literature are often categorized as evidence of a crime and were very rarely returned. Rights activists also say that authorities continue detentions of Christians, many of them former Muslims.