An underground female church leader in Iran, who in the past helped Pastor Saeed Abedini's ministry, has gone on a hunger strike inside Evin prison in protest of the denial of critical medical attention that she needs.
Mohabat News reported on Monday that Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran began her hunger strike last week inside the women's ward of Evin, the notorious prison where Abedini spent part of his three and a half year sentence for his Christian faith.
Zargaran has also refused to accept visitors as part of her protest, which has reportedly prompted other inmates to follow in her footsteps. The 36-year-old underground church leader was arrested in winter 2013 for "actions against national security," a charge often made against religious or political prisoners of conscience in Iran. more >>
Three Christians from the Church of Iran denomination, who were arrested as part of a series of raids on house churches and believers in the Shia nation two weeks ago, will be released on bail only if they pay $33,000 each, a court in Rasht city says.
The three Christians – Yasser Mosayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan) – are being held in a jail in Rasht, the capital city of Gilan Province, pending payment of 100 million Toman, which is equivalent to about $33,000, each, according to the U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide, which has been following their case since they were arrested on May 13.
The three Christians were arrested along with their pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani, and his wife, Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, by officials from Iran's Ministry of Intelligence, known as VEVAK. The officials also seized Bibles, computers and mobile phones belonging to the three church members. more >>
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 >>