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    » 05/22/2008, 00.00

    IRAN

    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.

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    See also

    28/05/2008 IRAN
    An anti- Bahá'í organisation set up in Tehran
    The new movement is created following the latest arrest of Bahá'í faithful. It will have a website to gather signatures opposed to the “underground” activities attributed to the group, seen by Shia Muslims as heretical. Their detention follows that of Muslim converts to Christianity.

    14/04/2008 IRAN
    Bomb or accident? Doubts remain over the explosion at the mosque in Shiraz
    Two days after the incident, the hypothesis of an attack has not been dismissed. The toll of victims is now at 12 dead and more than 200 wounded. The government's caution two weeks from the second electoral round, while the city prosecutor announces a judicial investigation.

    26/07/2012 ISLAM - CHRISTIANITY
    A Muslim convert talks about Christ
    By coming out openly on TV, with the danger of recognition and persecution for 'apostasy,' Mohammed Christophe reasserted the importance of conversion and baptism. In Muslim nations, various bishops and priests refuse to baptise Muslims who want to become Christian. Yet, conversion means a revolution in the relationship with God, the father, and Jesus, who gave his life, for one gives up everything putting one's life at risk.

    09/03/2010 IRAN
    Isfahan: Protestant clergyman tortured for “converting Muslims”
    During a visit in prison, the pastor’s wife saw he had signs of torture. He could be executed. An anti-Protestant crackdown is underway in Isfahan. The regime’s fight against proselytising is coupled with fears that Christian gatherings might host its opponents.

    16/05/2006 SRI LANKA
    Three churches attacked in less than a month
    Buddhist monks are leading the attacks. Sri Lanka's parliament is examining two dangerous anti-conversion bills.



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