Christian convert arrested in Anzali, family in distress

Christian convert arrested in Anzali, family in distress

A Christian convert in Iran was arrested after a dozen plainclothes agents from the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) raided his house, confiscating several Bibles. 

Rahmat Rostamipour, 49, was driven away in a convoy of four cars at 8am on Monday, 18 April, from his home in Anzali, a city in the north of the country.

As well as confiscating the Bibles, the agents also took possession of the family’s phones, ID cards, a number of books, and some tablets used by the couple’s children for school, before taking Rahmat into custody. 

The authorities made it clear they also intended to arrest Rahmat’s wife, Azar, but refrained from doing so because the raid brought on a panic attack in the couple’s teenage daughter.

However, Azar was summoned to the MOIS Office in Anzali the following day, 19 April, and returned home after hours of interrogation.

The couple have not been formally charged, but during Azar’s questioning she was informally accused of “propaganda against the regime through involvement in house-church activities”.

Iranian authorities consider house-church gatherings outside their sphere of control as “illegal”.

The couple’s 13-year-old teenage son was also present during the raid. 

Iran is number nine on Open Doors’ World Watch List, an annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.

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