At Least 8 Christians Arrested in Karaj

HRANA News Agency – Following the recent pressures on the Christian converts and ideological and religious dissidents in Iran, at least eight members of a house church in Karaj were arrested by the security forces of the Islamic Republic. Pastor Saeid Abedini’s condition in Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj, remains worrying.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Hayedeh Shadnia, Shahin Bashiri, Mona Chahardoli, Ismail Falahati, Nematullah Yousefi, and a man called Razmik along with at least two other Christian converts were arrested by the security agents in plain clothes, on Friday, 7th August 2015, while they had gathered to worship.

According to HRANA, quoting witnesses and neighbors, the arrest was with beating them and in a disrespectful way, and agents took them with some books and pamphlets and transferred them to the vans. According to this report, security forces, who were carrying wireless and guns, collected satellite reception dishes in the building as well.

Recent reports say that three of them have been temporary released on the bail, but there is no information about the fate and whereabouts of the other detainees, and their families pursue in front of the Karaj prison and the Revolutionary Court has been Inconclusive.

At the same time HRANA’s sources reported the on-going worrying condition of Pastor Saeid Abedini in Rajai Shahr prison (Gohardasht). According to this report, in the evening of 7th August, ward 12 of Rajai Shahr prison (political and conscience prisoners) was attacked and during an intense inspection of the place, they behaved very badly towards Pastor Saeid Abedini. This Iranian-American priest had been recently attacked and beaten in the prison.

According to the reports, there are now dozens of Christian converts, same as activists and Baha’i, Sufi, Sunni and other religious minorities, held in the Islamic Republic prisons and detention centers.

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