Christian women attend a church service in Tehran, Iran. (Reuters)

By Eric Sumner

December 19, 2017

Four Iranian converts to Christianity were arrested last Tuesday in the city of Karaj, about an hour drive from Tehran, according to Persian media reports.

Two weeks before Christmas, Iranian security forces raided six houses the converts used as home churches, detained four and dragged them away. Milad Goudarzi, Amin Khaki, Alireza Nour-Mohammadi and Shehabuddin Shahi were engaged in a “Christian ceremony” prior to the arrest, according to Radio Farda, the Iranian branch of the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty external broadcast service.

Furthermore, Radio Farda reported, security forces raided two shops belonging to two of the converts and confiscated some of their merchandise. One of the shops was sealed off for “overcharging,” “profiteering” and “breaking guild regulations.”

IRNA, the Iranian government’s official news agency, defended the arrests.

“Elements of a devious Christian cult who were promoting it and attempting to disrupt the market and economic order have been arrested,” it claimed Tuesday.

Iran claims to allow freedom of religion, and has historically reserved five seats in its 290-member parliament for recognized religious minorities — one for a Jew, two for Christians and two for Zoroastrians — even since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

Jerusalem Post

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.