Iran: One Christian released from prison, four more detained

Thursday, April 29, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - While Christian convert Majidreza Souzanchi was released from Iran’s Greater Tehran Penitentiary on April 8, four other Christians were arrested and detained by Iranian intelligence officials on April 19, International Christian Persecution reports. Iran currently ranks 8 on the Open Doors Watch List of countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith.

Souzanchi had been sentenced to two years imprisonment for “propaganda against the state through membership of evangelical groups, and conducting evangelism,” ICC said.

The Tehran prison Souzanchi was held in is known by rights advocates for its filth and overcrowding. Souzanchi was ultimately released four months before the end of his sentence because he caught COVID-19 during his detention there.

However, less than two weeks after Souzanchi was released, four more Iranian Christians were arrested by intelligence officials, ICC reports. The four Christians are Ismail Narimanpour, Mohammad Ali Torabi, Alireza Vark Shah, and Hojjat Lotfi Khalaf from Dezful, Khuzestan province.

According to a statement on the Open Doors website, the Iranian government considers the conversion of Muslims to Christianity “as an attempt by Western countries to undermine the Islamic rule of Iran.” Moreover, Open Doors reports: “Christians from a Muslim background are persecuted the most, primarily by the government, but also by their families and communities.”