Security Forces Arrest Three Christian Converts in Rasht

On Sunday, September 5, Christian converts Ahmad Sarparast, Ayub Pour Rezazadeh, and Morteza Hajeb Mashhoud Kari were arrested by security forces in Rasht and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activist, Mr. Sarparast and Mr. Pour Rezazadeh were detained in a house church. Security forces raided the homes of these citizens and confiscated some of their belongings, including cell phones, books, and pamphlets related to Christianity. According to an informed source, the agents behaved violently and insultingly and refused to show arrest or search warrants.

Relatives of these citizens are said to have been threatened by IRGC intelligence agents for providing information about the condition of their loved ones. Also, one of their relatives along with several other members of the house church were summoned to the Rasht IRGC Intelligence Office and interrogated.

According to a source close to the families of these citizens, after their families went to Branch 4 of the Rasht Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office to follow up on the case, they were not given any answer and were told, “Do not follow up. They will not be released any time soon. They do not deserve freedom and must stay.”

25-year-old Ahmad (Yohanna) Sarparast, 28-year-old Ayub (Farzin) Pour Rezazadeh, and 38-year-old Morteza Hajeb Mashhoud Kari are residents of Rasht.

Even though Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Islamic law, the security services nevertheless pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with activists in this field.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.

As of this writing, the reasons for the arrest, the charges against them, and the whereabouts of these citizens are unknown.

Christian Converts Amin Khaki, Milad Goodarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi Sentenced to a Total of 9 Years in Prison

On Sunday, August 22, Branch 12 of the Alborz Court of Appeals sentenced Amin Khaki, Milad Goodarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi, three Christian converts, to a total of nine years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Mohabbat News, in their first trial in June this year, Amin Khaki, Milad Goodarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi were each sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and fined 40 million Tomans, by the Fourth Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj, on charges of propaganda and catechizing deviant against the holy Sharia of Islam.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Islamic law, the security services nevertheless pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with activists in this field.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.

Three Christian Converts Sentenced to a Total of 15 Years in Prison and a Fine

Amin Khaki, Milad Goodarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi were sentenced by the Fourth Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj to five years each in prison and a fine of 40 million tomans.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the website Article 18 , the three christian converts were sentenced for “Propaganda and educational activities contrary to the holy Sharia of Islam”.

The citizens had been released on bail of 250 million tomans each in November 2020 after being summoned to judicial authorities and filing a case.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Iranian law, the security services nevertheless pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with activists in this field.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.

A Christian Citizen Was Arrested and Another Was Went into Exile

According to Aran Moghan, a Christian citizen was arrested in Pars Abad Moghan by the Damghan Intelligence Department officers and Security police. He was accused of “Christianity mission” and “disturbing public opinion” in public space and cyberspace.

Additionally, another Christian citizen, Ebrahim Firouzi, started serving his sentence to live in exile in Sarbaz city on November 12, 2019. He was released on October 26, 2019, after serving five years in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. On March 7th, 2013, Ebrahim Firouzi, a 28-year-old Christian convert was arrested by the security forces when he was on his way to his work. He was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. He has multiple arrests in his record and was previously sentenced to one year in prison and two years living in exile in Sarbaz. He was tried on the charge of acting against the national security on March 8, 2015, by judge Mogheiseh. He has no access to a lawyer before trial and met his lawyer for the first time in the court hearing. The Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Ebrahim Firouzi to five years in prison. He was arrested for the first time on January 11, 2011. He was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state”, “insulting Islamic sacraments” and “acting against national security” by the Branch 102 of Robat Karim’s Revolutionary Court.

Although Christianity is an official minority religion in Iran, converting to Christianity is not acceptable.