Christians in Iran are continuing to face persecution throughout the pandemic. According to Open Doors, at least 12 Christians have been arrested by intelligence agents belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guard in a coordinated operation across three cities.
Article 19 reports that the arrests took place over the last few days on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning in Tehran, Karaj, and Malayer. Christians were ordered to provide their contact details and told them they will soon be summoned for questioning.
"Ten intelligence agents - eight men and two women - raided the home of a recent Christian convert, where around 30 Christians had gathered."
"The agents, who were armed and wore masks, were reportedly polite as they filmed the raid and separated men from women, but later turned the cameras off and treated the Christians harshly."
Being blindfolded and beaten full of fear, these Christians who were persecuted aren't able to contact their families to tell them where they have been taken to.
"Armenian-Iranian Christian Joseph Shahbazian, and five Christian converts named Reza, Salar, Sonya, and elderly sisters Mina and Maryam - were handcuffed, blindfolded and taken away."
While the five Christian's names were read out, the others whose names were not read out full with concern had their mobile phones confiscated and were ordered to fill out forms providing information of another method by which they could be reached, and told not to follow-up on the confiscation of their phones for at least 72 hours.
According to Open Doors, they were also ordered to write down that none of their property had been confiscated, even after the confiscation of their mobile phones and despite their protestations.
The agents then drove the six arrested Christians, as well as some of those whose names were not on the list, to their homes in Tehran and Karaj to carry out searches of their properties, looking especially for Bibles, other Christian literature and communications devices.
"The agents later went to the homes of the three Christian converts whose names were read out but had not been present- two men called Farhad, and another named Arash- and arrested them."
Open Door sends out a prayer request for Christians worldwide for these believers located in Iran.
"Asking God to calm their fears, that they would know that they're not alone and that the worldwide churches stand with them. Also, pray that they would be treated well and for quick release to be back home with their families."
"Father, we pray that You would be ever-near to our hurting and scared family members today and that ultimately they would be acquitted and allowed to safely gather. We thank You for what You're doing in the church of Iran as more people turn to You each day despite risks of arrest and prison. God, continue to grow Your church and use bold believers like these courageous 12 to advance Your Kingdom."
Open Doors also provided their names. Sincerely seeking prayers and hope, Christians worldwide don't cease to give up for their brothers and sisters.
- Joseph Shahbazian,
- elderly sisters Mina and Maryam