Ahvaz Christians arrested ahead of Christmas

Ahvaz Christians arrested ahead of Christmas

Farhad Sabokrooh, with his wife Shahnaz Jizan

The pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Ahvaz has been detained, alongside his wife and two church members, following a raid on their Christmas celebration.

Everyone present at the celebration was initially arrested, including children, during the Friday 23 December raid by masked security forces, but most were soon released after being ordered to participate in no further Christian activities. 

However, Pastor Farhad Sabokrooh, his wife Shahnaz Jizan, and church members Davoud Alijani and Nasser Zamen-Dezfuli were taken away in two shuttle buses to an unknown location.

The intelligence agents confiscated several mobile phones, computers and other church equipment during the raid.

Christmas has become a common time of year for Iranian security forces to target Christians. Last year, close to 60 “house church” members were arrested in various cities. One of them is still being detained.