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Iran crackdown on Christians intensifies with new arrests

Middle East and North Africa

Iran crackdown on Christians intensifies with new arrests

Iran’s security authorities arrested a Christian convert on 10 October at his workplace in Dezful, a city in Khuzestan Province, south-western Iran, and confiscated all his Christian articles, including his Bibles.

There are reports that two other Christian converts were arrested around the same time.

Location of Defzul. Credit: Mohabat News

The Iranian government has recently intensified its crackdown on Christians, especially in Khuzestan, where there is a long history of evangelism. Underground churches have been denounced, shut down; and the leaders and  congregations arrested. Between 2010 and 2014 over 28 Christians in the province – particularly converts – have been arrested and served prison terms for Christian activity. In Iran, conversion from Islam is considered apostasy and is a criminal offence.

According to Mohabat News, Mohamad Ali Torabi, was arrested at his workplace in the south-western city of Dezful, on 10 October. His family have not been made aware of his location. On the day of his arrest, security officials informed Mr Torabi’s family and told them that he has been put under temporary arrest and will be released in a week.