According to Mohabat News, as the Islamic regime of Iran increases its pressure on the Iranian Christian community, three Christian converts, Farshid Modares-Aval, Mohammad-Reza Pirri, and Yashar Farzin-No, were arrested on July 20 in a raid by security authorities.
After arresting them, authorities thoroughly searched their homes and seized a number of their personal belongings.
News sources reported that the three Christian men were transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence's detention centre in Tabriz prison. Security and judicial authorities have not provided any reason for their arrest to their families as yet.
Lack of awareness of their health and situation caused their families to reach out to security and judicial centers for information, however, none of the authorities would provide a proper answer. In many cases when families of detainees go to the authorities regarding the situation of their loved ones, they just hear promises for their early release if they keep silent and do not publicize their case. After some time when the families see that authorities have not kept their promises, they decide to speak out and publicize their stories in the media.
According to reports received, the three Christian men have been beaten during interrogation. This was so brutal in the case of Mohammad-Reza Pirri that he had to be hospitalized in prison's hospital for four days.
Although the Islamic authorities of Iran have always tried to relate House-Churches to foreign governments and often describe them as political groups with intention to overthrow the Islamic regime, they have not succeeded in providing a single piece of evidence for their false claims.
The crackdown against Christians in Iran is mostly targeted towards what the Islamic regime describes as "evangelical and extremist" Christians and thus "a threat against the Islamic regime". However, in reality all these arrested Christians are members of small Christian groups who gather in their houses for worship and Christian celebrations, out of sight of the authorities who do not allow these gatherings. The sole reason for these gatherings is to worship God with no political intentions.
It might be interesting to know that a while ago, a website called "Ya Lasarat", affiliated with Ansar-e Hezbollah Islamic militant group, published an article against Christians and what they called "the threat of evangelical Christians and house churches", expressing concern over the growth of Christianity in Iran, especially in Tabriz. Following this, Majid Abhari, Counsel at the Social Committee of Islamic Parliament of Iran, expressed his concern over the growth of Christianity in Azeri-Speaking regions and emphasised that the growth of house churches must be stopped. He also mentioned the confiscation of 6,500 Bibles at a roadside checkpoint near one of the Azeri-speaking towns.