IRAN: Christian couple die after police raid

Abbas Amiri and Sakineh Rahnama (a Christian couple in their 60’s) have died following a violent raid on their home by Iranian security police. A Christian worship service taking place in their home on the outskirts of Isfahan was disrupted by security police.

IRAN: Wave of arrests of Christians

Christians in Iran are reeling from a series of raids by the Iranian police in recent weeks. All of those arrested worship in house-churches and most are from a Muslim background.

There is particular concern for two men, Mahmood Matin (aged 52) and Arash Bandari (aged 44) who have been held in prison for over two months. They were arrested on 15 May on suspicion of “apostasy,” or leaving Islam.

After two months of solitary confinement at a secret police detention centre known by its address, Sepah Street 100, located in the center of Shiraz, Matin and Bandari were placed in a cell together in mid-July.

IRAN: Christian couple tortured and threatened

A couple who became Christians earlier this year have been arrested, tortured and threatened by police in Teheran, capital of Iran. Tina Rad (aged 28) and her husband, Makan Arya (aged 31), were taken from their home on 3rd June by security police forcing them to abandon their four-year-old daughter, Odzhan. The couple were taken to an unknown jail where they were beaten and threatened for four days before being released on bail.

IRAN: Wave of arrests of house-church Christians

Twelve Christians have been arrested by Iranian police in the past few weeks. Most of the arrests took place in the southern city of Shiraz and the Christians who were detained by police were all connected to the growing house-church movement in Iran. Significantly, most of those arrested were former Muslims.

IRAN: Hamid Pourmand quietly released

Hamid Pourmand was sent home in late July and told that he would not be required to serve the remaining 14 months of his three-year prison sentence. No explanation was given for the surprise release of Hamid, now 49, although prison officials had granted him occasional home visits of three days or more with his family during the past year. Publication of the news of his release was delayed until this week (for security reasons).

IRAN: Secret Police arrest another long-term convert

An Iranian Christian who converted from Islam 33 years ago is under arrest and interrogation in northern Iran, where secret police have held him incommunicado for the past three weeks. Ali Kaboli, 51, was taken into custody on 2nd May from his workshop in Gorgan, capital of Iran’s northern province of Golestan. With the exception of one brief telephone call, he has been refused contact with any visitors.