05/22/2008, 00.00
IRAN
Send to a friend

Crackdown against Christian converts in Shiraz

The Compass Direct news agency reports a wave of searches and arrests in mid-May against house churches in the southern part of the country. The police targets former Muslims who left Islam. Some of them are still in prison.

Tehran (AsiaNews) – Iranian police in southern Iran arrested Muslim converts to Christianity searching their in mid-May, Compass Direct News reported.

The series of arrests began on 11 May when two couples were taken into custody before boarding their flights at the Shiraz International Airport.

Homayon Shokohie Gholamzadeh, 48, and his wife Fariba Nazemiyan Pur, 40; and Amir Hussein Bab Anari, 25, and his wife Fatemeh Shenasa, 25, were subjected to hours of interrogation, questioning them solely “just about their faith and house church activities,” an Iranian source told Compass.

Eventually the two women were released the same day of their arrest, Anari was held until 14 May but Gholamzadeh remains jailed.

On the same day that the aforementioned Christians were arrested in the airport, police raided the home of Hamid Allaedin Hussein, 58, arresting him and his three adult children, Fatemah, 28, Muhammed Ali, 27, and Mojtaba, 21.

All the family’s books, CDs, computers and printers were hauled off as well. All except Mojtaba were later released.

Two days later, police picked up two more former Muslims involved in a separate house church in Shiraz as the Christian converts were talking together in a city park. Both men, Mahmood Matin and a second man identified only as Arash, are still in prison.

Unofficial estimates indicate a growing number of Muslim converts to Christianity among the so-called Protestant “house churches”.

For Iran’s Islamic regime “foreign religions” are seen as a threat to national security.

In the last few years many Muslim converts to Christianity have been executed on “espionage” charges.

Under Iranian law apostasy is a capital crime for anyone who leaves Islam.

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Three churches attacked in less than a month
16/05/2006
Bomb or accident? Doubts remain over the explosion at the mosque in Shiraz
14/04/2008
A Muslim convert talks about Christ
26/07/2012
Planning an ‘Islamic’ car with Qur’an and compass to find Makkah
12/11/2007
An anti- Bahá'í organisation set up in Tehran
28/05/2008


Travel