Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination, and his wife, who were re-arrested as part of a series of raids targeting around 10 Christian homes last week, have been released, but three other Christians are still in custody, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Officials from the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran arrested Pastor Nadarkhani, his wife, Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, and fellow church member Yasser Mosayebzadeh during a raid on the house church leader's home on Friday. Officials also separately raided the homes of Saheb Fadaie and Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan), seized their Bibles, computers and mobile phones and arrested them, CSW says in a report.
Mosayebzadeh, Fadaie and Youhan are still in custody. more >>
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination who was acquitted of apostasy in 2012 after being sentenced to death by hanging, was arrested once again, this time along with his wife and a church member, by Iranian authorities on Friday, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
"We are deeply concerned by these developments and await further clarification regarding the reasons for these arrests," CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, referring to the arrest of the 37-year-old pastor, his wife Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani and fellow church member Yasser Mosayebzadeh.
Pastor Nadarkhani was released from prison in September 2013 following his acquittal of leaving Islam by a court in Rasht in northern Gilan Province. The court, however, sentenced him to three years for evangelizing Muslims, but since he had been in jail for three years, he was released after posting bail. more >>
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has found that religious minorities in Iran, including Christians, continue experiencing severe human rights abuses, closing in on one year on the historical nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and Western nations.
The major report, released only a couple months shy from the one year anniversary of the nuclear deal reached in July 2015, found that religious freedom conditions "continued to deteriorate" over the past year, with Christians, Baha'is, and the minority Sunni Muslims facing the most persecution at the form of harassment, arrests, and imprisonment.
The key findings noted that under President Hassan Rouhani's administration, the number of religious-based arrests has increased, despite Iran's continuous denial that it is violating people's human and religious freedom rights. more >>
Iranian Christian converts must be granted the right to a fair evaluation of danger by European governments before they can be denied asylum and sent back to the Islamic Republic, the top human rights court in Europe ruled Wednesday.
In the case of F.G. v. Sweden, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Swedish government must give an Iranian Muslim man who converted to Christianity in Sweden a fair assessment of how his conversion will put him in danger back home before he can be sent back to Iran to face persecution.
As Iran ranks as the ninth worst country in the world for Christian persecution, apostasy from Islam is considered a criminal offense that is punishable by death. more >>
Vice President Joe Biden reaffirmed the Obama administration's support for Israel Wednesday, one day after the Iranian Republic launched two ballistic missiles at a test site Tuesday, and threatened to use them against the "Zionist regime."
Fars News Agency reported Tuesday that the Iranian regime launched two Qadr H missiles in the country's Alborz mountain range that landed over 1,000 kilometers away in the Sea of Oman. The media outlet says it has photos of the missiles that include the anti-Semitic and threatening message: "Israel must be wiped out."
According to Reuters, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said the missiles have the capacity to hit Israel, and were tested on Wednesday at a distance of 1,400 kilometers (869 miles), and Jerusalem sits 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from Tel Aviv. more >>
Hundreds of thousands of Christians are worshiping secretly in a rapidly accelerating house church movement in Iran, as a London-based theological center is aiding the movement by training the next generation of its spiritual leaders.
The Iranian government labels Christianity as a threat to the nation's Islamic identity and imprisons over 100 Christians for worshiping Christ. Such crackdowns on faith, however, have not prevented Iranian house churches from blossoming into a movement too big for the Iranian religious police to contain.
Some estimates, such as one provided by Open Doors USA, record as many as 450,000 practicing Christians in Iran, while other, more optimistic estimates, record over 1 million Christians in the Islamic republic. more >>