There is a fresh and aggressive crackdown on Christians in Iran, with around 70 arrested in June and July. Please pray for our Iranian family.
It’s now emerged that at least 69 Christians have been arrested in the fresh crackdown on believers in Iran.
These took place across 11 cities – Tehran, Karaj, Rasht, Orumiyeh and Aligoudarz, Isfahan, Shiraz, Semnan, Garmsar, Varamin and Eslamshahr – between 1 June and 17 July. At least ten of these (four men, six women) remain held.
Among those released, it’s reported that this is on the condition that they refrain from Christian activities or attend Islamic re-education classes. Some have been summoned for further questioning or even forced to leave Iran. One said he has lost his job at the request of the authorities. Bail amounts are between 400 million and two billion tomans (about £6,300 to £31,500).
Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters affected by this wave of arrests.
Source: Article 18
Fresh crackdown on Christians in Iran with arrests of more than 50 converts
19 July 2023
Your urgent prayers are needed following the arrests of more than 50 Christian converts in a wave of incidents over the past seven days in Iran, and there are fears this could rise.
This fresh and aggressive crackdown on believers in their homes and house churches has occurred in five different Iranian cities: Tehran, Karaj, Rasht, Orumiyeh and Aligoudarz. At least 51 are believed to remain in detention, whilst others have been released on bail.
Morality police return to the streets – with greater aggression
It’s unclear what accounts for this crackdown, but it coincides with the morality police being more visible and aggressive on the streets, having withdrawn to an extent following the protests that emerged in the wake of Mahsa Amini’s death whilst in custody in September 2022.
“The reason for this sudden surge in nationwide arrests of Christians is not clear at this stage,” says Mansour Borji, advocacy director for Article 18
, which lobbies for Christian freedom in Iran. “What is obvious is that Iran has begun a fresh crackdown on civil liberties, and the traditionally vulnerable groups, like Christians, are on the front line of those targeted.”
Highlighting the return of the morality police to Iran’s streets, he added that ‘overall there seems to be a renewed or more aggressive crackdown on groups the regime feels threatened by’.
The news comes after it emerged that Pastor Nadarkhani – whom many of you have been praying for – has had new charges levelled at him, just months after being released from prison.
House churches viewed as a threat
Iran is number eight on the World Watch List, with the latest report, released earlier this year, highlighting a slight increase in persecution against Christians. The country is ruled by an increasingly strict Islamic regime, which views the existence of Iranian house churches as an attempt by Western countries to undermine Islam and their authority. This is why many of the charges levelled against Christians centre around crimes ‘against national security’.
Thank you for your continued support for Iranian sisters and brothers. Please continue to uphold them in prayer.
- For an end to this crackdown and the sudden arrests, and that all those arrested will be freed without charge
- That those in prison will be guarded from harm and that they, and their families, will feel God’s close presence with them
- That the authorities’ hearts towards Christians will soften and that there will be greater religious freedom in Iran.
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