Pastor Robert Asseriyan released

Pastor Robert Asseriyan released

Pastor Robert Asseriyan, a leader of the Central Assemblies of God Church in Tehran, was released from Evin Prison yesterday.

Pastor Asseriyan was arrested on Tuesday, 21 May when security forces stormed his home and then the church service he was leading. He was then taken to Evin Prison.

His church is one of the few churches that continued its Farsi-language services under intense pressure. 

The sign on the church door says it has been closed for “major repairs”

But with Pastor Asseriyan’s arrest the meetings of the church were stopped and on 22 May a notice was pinned to the church’s door, detailing the closure of the church “due to major repairs”.

The growing inclination of Muslim-born Iranians to attend church meetings has worried government officials. 

But according to the constitution, Christianity is recognised as one of the divine religions and Christians should be free to practise their religion. 

One of the former leaders of the church, in an interview with Article18, expressed hope that after the release of Pastor Asseriyan, his church would also be reopened and hundreds of Christians in the church would not be further deprived of attending its services.

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