Eight Christians Arrested and Put in Solitary Confinement as Iran Continues Crackdown on Religious Freedom

Iranian security services raided the homes of eight Iranian converts to Christianity on July 1 in the southern city of Bushehr, hustling them off to solitary confinement, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post.

The arrest was first reported on Friday by Article 18, an organization that promotes religious freedom and supports Iran’s repressed and persecuted Christian community.

Intelligence agents “stormed the Christians’ homes in a coordinated operation at around 9 a.m.,” confiscating Bibles, Christian literature, wooden crosses, and pictures carrying Christian symbols. Authorities also seized laptops, phones, all forms of identity cards, bank cards, and other personal belongings, Article 18 reported.

Non-Muslims in Iran are prohibited from publicly expressing their religious affiliation, and any attempt to convert a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death. The right to choose, change, or leave one’s religion is considered apostasy and also carries the death penalty.

Following the release of the 2019 annual report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in late June, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “In Iran, the regime’s crackdown on Bahá’ís, Christians and others continues to shock the conscience.”

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SOURCE: TheTower.org