Three more converts arrested in persecuted Iranian Christian community
09/09/2021 Iran (International Christian Concern) – As they gathered for a prayer meeting at the church, Ahmad Sarparast, Morteza Mashoodkari and Ayoob Poor-Rezazadeh were arrested around 10 p.m. on September 5. examination.
The converts were arrested in Rasht, where the converted Christian community was severely affected by the persecution. Currently, 11 local Christians are serving long prison sentences, including Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani. Another resident of Rasht, Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan), lives in internal exile and four others are currently awaiting sentencing.
Nine of the eleven Christians are serving five-year sentences for their participation and leadership in house churches and are accused of “acting against national security.” Raids on homes and house churches in January and February 2019 resulted in the arrest of the majority of converts currently serving Rasht sentences.
In recent weeks, the nine, currently in Evin prison, have also been threatened with forced transfers to various prisons. Although they have the potential to be closer to home, Christians should pay for their own transportation. Some fear that the transfer will also interfere with their requests for a new trial, appeal or leave. Despite the horrors of Evin Prison, a smaller prison is less likely to separate political prisoners, like converted Christians, from dangerous criminals serving time.
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