January 25, 2021
According to the state-run Fars News Agency, security institutions arrested and interrogated several Iranian Christians across the country.
Fars said they were arrested for affiliation with what it called “Zionist Christianity”.
The report did not say where the Iranian Christians were taken or how many people were detained. Fars said security forces with the cooperation of the judiciary “annihilated a Zionist network” adding that the main purpose of the so-called network was to “create moral deviations as well as the promotion of religious conversions.”
According to Iranian law, evangelism, missionary work, and converting to Christianity can be a crime meriting a sentence of more than 10 years imprisonment. The distribution of Christian literature in Persian is currently illegal in Iran.
There is officially no crime known as apostasy in the penal code (although there was a law about it prior to 1994). The last known execution for this crime was in 1990. However, despite there being no official civil law of apostasy, judges may still convict a defendant of that crime if they rule based on religious fatwas.