Iran: Three more Christians arrested from persecuted community

Thursday, September 9, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Another three Christian men from a heavily persecuted believing community in Iran were arrested by Iranian intelligence authorities on September 5 and taken to an unknown location for interrogation, International Christian Concern reports.

Eleven believers from the Christian community in Rasht on Iran’s Caspian Sea coast are already serving long prison sentences because of their faith.

Ahmad Sarparast, Morteza Mashoodkari, and Ayoob Poor-Rezazadeh were arrested at around 10 pm in Rasht, ICC reports. Among the 11 local Christians already in prison is Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who converted from Islam at age 19 and led a 400-strong local church before being brutally beaten and jailed. Four more Rasht residents are awaiting sentencing.

After raids on house churches in 2019, nine of the eleven imprisoned believers were charged with “acting against national security” because of their ministry, ICC said. They were each sentenced to five years in jail.

Iran ranks 8 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted’ the level of persecution there has been rated as extreme. “The Iranian government sees the conversion of Muslims to Christianity as an attempt by Western countries to undermine the Islamic rule of Iran,” Open Doors explains on its website.”

“Secret churches are often raided, and their leaders and members have been arrested and given long prison sentences for “crimes against national security,” Open Doors reports.