http://www.barnabasfund.org More than 70 Christians were arrested in Tehran and the western city of Mashhad in the early hours of 26 December 2010 in a crackdown on Iran’s house church movement.
Armed, plain-clothes special security officers forced their way into the homes of Christians while they were asleep. Dozens of Christians, many of them converts from Islam, were verbally and physically abused before being handcuffed and taken for interrogation. Among those arrested were house church leaders, married couples (two of whom were separated from young children) and a number of young single women.
Some of the detained were later released after signing statements that they would no longer take part in Christian activities. Davood Kaboli (31) said, “They have made it impossible for Christians to gather. They want to create fear so we abandon Christianity.” He was blindfolded and interrogated about the work of churches in Tehran, before being released. Many others remain in prison.
It is understood that another 16 Christians would have been detained but were not at home when the security forces broke in. Their relatives were harassed and ordered to tell the Christians to turn themselves in to the authorities.
The Governor General of Tehran Province, Morteza Tamadon, confirmed on 4 January that a number of Christians had been arrested. He described house church worshippers as “deviants” and “parasites” and warned of further arrests.
- Pray for those who were arrested. Pray that they will recover from the trauma of the raids and that those who are still in prison will soon be released.
- Pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Iran, that they may be free to worship the Lord without fear of persecution, harassment and arrest.