In continuation to minorities rights violations in Iran, several Christian new converts have been arrested by undercover authorities with their whereabouts still unknown. According to recent reports, four Christian new converts who were members of Iran’s Church, have been sentenced to be jailed for ten years the Islamic Revolutionary Court, being accused of “promoting Zionist Christianity and managing home churches”.
Razmik Zadorian, Shahab Bani Bayat, and Mohammmad Mohaghegh-e-Dolatabadi have been arrested on 17th June 2018 in Karaj suburban area and Shahin Shakib and Vahid Dehghani have also been arrested a day after, on 18 June in west Tehran, according to an Iran Human Rights Watch report.
The report also suggests that detainees’ homes have been raided and their belongings including books, PCs and their satellite receivers have been seized by the authorities.
Over the past few days, families of the mentioned detainees have gone to extreme measures asking about their whereabouts and asking for a just trial by going to judiciary authorities, however they have been told that they were captured by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. In some cases, these family members were mistreated and threatened by the judiciary and security authorities.
In recent months and following several arrests, the IRGC claimed that the detained Christian new converts are all religious perverts, Christianity missionaries and promoters and members of evangelical home churches who were aiming to mislead and deceive younger generations, both in public and over the internet.
Another report concerning the Christians’ rights abuses suggests that four Christian new converts have been sentenced to ten years imprisonment which has been approved by the supreme court and they are to be sent to do their time in jail in near future.
Yousef Nadrkhani, whose name is among them, is and Iranian priest who were imprisoned a decade ago. The other three are Mohammadreza Omidi, Yaser Mosayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie who were arrested two years ago, facing accusation of “Zionist Christianity and acting against national security”.
According to the report, Nadrkhani and Omidi were sentenced to two more as a result of accusations that they were receiving funds from the UK. Furthermore, another three people have been sentenced to eighty lashes for drinking alcohol (wine) during religious ceremonies.
Over the past years, there have been excessive pressure on Christian new converts in Iran after the warnings issued by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader. Consequently, tens of Iranian Christian new converts are being kept in prisons. Moreover, publishing and distributing Persian bible is prohibited and protestant churches have been closed.
According to an international report on freedom of religions in Iran, Islamic Republic continues torturing, questioning and imprisoning of Bahais, Christian ne converts, Sunnis, and all other minorities.