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80 Iranian Church Leaders Arrested - September 10, 2004

Remember those in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3, NIV

Iranian Police Detain 80 Iranian Evangelical Christians

ISTANBUL,September 10, 2004 (Compass) -- Iranian police invaded the annual general conference of Iran.s Assemblies of God Church yesterday, arresting at least 80 church leaders gathered at the church.s denominational center in Karaj, 20 miles west of Tehran. Reportedly each individual was questioned separately by security officials, who had a specific list of questions. By evening, the authorities had released all the arrested Christians except for the 10 pastors among them. The location of these 10 men is unknown, and their families have not been allowed any contact with them. All the evangelicals released last night were forbidden to attend church services today. .This is the biggest crisis for evangelical believers in the country since three Protestant pastors were murdered 10 years ago,. another source told Compass.

Iranian Police Released 10 Evangelical Pastors

September 13, 2004 (Compass) -- Ten evangelical pastors and elders of Iran.s Assemblies of God Church arrested four days ago were released on Sunday, .quite late in the night,. an Iranian source confirmed. Together with 70 other Assemblies of God representatives, the 10 leaders had gathered at a church center in Karaj for the church's annual general conference on September 9 when the arrests occurred. Police officers swarmed onto the property that morning, blindfolding all the men and women present and taking them off to be fingerprinted and interrogated. All the detainees were released by nightfall except for the 10 pastors and elders. Reportedly they were not given any reason for their arrest, although they were asked .many questions about themselves and each other,. one source said. Due to close police surveillance, the 10 leaders have not made direct contact with other evangelical believers since their release. Since its declaration as an Islamic state in 1979, Iran has clamped down harshly on its Protestant citizens.

One Iranian Pastor Still in Jail

September 14, 2004 (Compass) -- Protestant church leaders in Iran learned this morning that one of 10 evangelical pastors reportedly released from detention by police authorities on September 12 is still being held incommunicado. Assemblies of God Pastor Hamid Pourmand, 47, has not returned to his home in Bandar-i Bushehr and is presumed to remain under police arrest in the Karaj-Tehran area, where he was initially detained with 80 other Assemblies of God leaders on September 9. A former Muslim who converted to Christianity nearly 25 years ago, Pourmand pastors a congregation in southern Iran. He and his wife, who is of Assyrian Christian background, have two children. Since the government-ordered execution of convert pastor Hussein Soodmand in December 1990, the Islamic Republic of Iran has enacted a harsh crackdown against the country.s evangelical churches and various house church movements accused of evangelizing Muslims.

Iranian police release 10 Evangelical pastors

No reasons given for four-day detention

by Barbara G. Baker

Compass Direct (13.09.2004)/HRWF (14.09.2004) . Email: info@hrwf.net - Website: http://www.hrwf.net - Ten evangelical church leaders arrested four days ago by Iranian police were released last night from their unknown detention site.

All pastors and elders in Iran.s Assemblies of God Church, the 10 men were set free on Sunday night, .quite late in the night,. an Iranian Christian source confirmed.

After their release, the pastors were allowed to return to Tehran to stay with their families or friends in the capital or nearby Karaj. Those living in other cities were returning home today to Rasht, Urumiyeh, Ahwaz and Boshahr, church sources said.

The pastors reportedly were not given any specific reason for their arrest, although they were asked .many questions about themselves and each other,. one source said.

Due to police surveillance monitoring their movements and telephone conversations, the pastors have not made direct contact with other evangelical believers since their release.

Together with 70 other Assemblies of God Church leaders, the pastors had convened at a church center in Karaj for their annual general conference on September 9 when the arrests occurred. Police officials swarmed onto the property that morning, blindfolding all the men and women present and taking them off to be fingerprinted and interrogated.

All the detainees were released by nightfall except for the 10 pastors and elders, who were held incommunicado until their release Sunday night.

Reportedly the church leaders had refused to name any one person among them as their top leader, prompting the police to arrest the entire group en masse. Last week.s police crackdown was the largest known arrest of Iranian evangelical believers in the past decade.

The murderers of three of Iran.s leading Protestant pastors 10 years ago have never been brought to justice. Assemblies of God leader Rev. Haik Hovsepian-Mehr was murdered in January 1994, shortly after launching a successful international campaign to free Mehdi Dibaj, a long-time convert to Christianity jailed for nine years.

Six months later, Dibaj was also killed, followed days later by the disappearance and murder of Rev. Tateos Michaelian, a Presbyterian pastor.

Since its declaration as an Islamic state in 1979, Iran has clamped down harshly on its Protestant citizens and even closed the Iranian Bible Society. A large number of evangelical churches have been closed for worship, their buildings confiscated and known converts to Christianity put under arrest.

Under Islamic law enforced in Iran, a Muslim who converts to Christianity faces the death penalty.

Courtesy of Compass Direct

"Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection... they were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword... the world was not worthy of them." -- Hebrews 11: 37-38.

Martyred and Imprisoned Iranian ChristiansMartyred & Imprisoned Christian Leaders in Iran

  • A Documentary Film on the Untold Story of Religious Freedom In Iran
  • 2010 - Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani - Gilan, Iran - Sentenced to be executed on 10/24/2010 for Apostasy
  • 2010 - October - a young believer has died in Iran after he had been severely beaten by a relative who objected to his strong faith in Christ. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. (Reported by Elam)
  • 2010 - September 23, Nine followers of Jesus were detained in Hamedan, the capital of Hamadan province, on charges of evangelism, which potentially carriesthe death penalty under strict laws in Iran.
  • 2010 - July 24 at 9:00 p.m., 27-year-old Neshan Saeedi was spending a quiet evening at home with his wife and young daughter when plain-clothes security forces entered his house and arrested him. The security officers searched the home and seized personal belongings such as a computer, CDs containing films of Christian seminars and teachings, Christian books and Bibles, and family photo albums. As of September 09, 2010 - there is no information about the condition of Neshan.
  • 2010 - July 18, 15 Christians detained in Mashhad,Iran's second largest city, remain detained and are "under pressure pressure to recant their faith but are refusing to do so." - (Reported by The Voice of the Martyrs)
  • 2010 - April 29, Ali Golchin (29), has been held in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison since he was arrested in his home town of Varamin on April 29. After weeks of appealing to the authorities, Ali's father was finally allowed access to him on June 17 -- though they were allowed only 10 minutes together. Ali was released on bail on July 25.
  • 2009 - October, Pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani - Held in prison in Shiraz, Iran - has been given limited contact with his family and his attorney.
  • 2008 - In July 2008, An Iranian Christian Couple in their 60s (Abbas Amiri & Sakineh Rahnama) died from injuries sustained when secret police raided a house church service hosted at their house and severly beat them.
  • 2007 - On April 18 2007 three members of Malatya Church in Turkey were murdered; Pastor Necati Aydin, Tilmann Geske & Ugur Yuksel. The first martyrs of the modern Turkish Church.
  • 2007 - In June, a number of Iranian Christians have been arrested and are held in unknown places, including Mr. fard from Tehran.
  • 2007 - Mr. Patrick, an Iranian Christian and a member of Church of Kermanshah was arrested in May.
  • 2007 - Several Iranian Christians from Church of Mashhad were arrested in February.
  • 2006 - 14 Iranian Christians from Church of Rasht were arrested in December.
  • 2006 - Iranian secret police began to raid and arrest leaders of the Islamic republic's indigenous "Jesus Only" movement Sunday December 10, arriving unannounced in the early morning hours to search their homes in Tehran, Karaj, Rasht and Bandar-i Anzali.
  • 2005 - Pastor Ghorbandordi Tourani - Iranian House Church Leader murdered near his house in Gonbad-e Kavous - November 22
  • 2004 - Pastor Hamid Pourmand - arrested ... sentenced to 3 years in prison ... charged with apostasy ... acquitted of apostasy ...
  • 2004 - 80 Iranian Christians Arrested, September 2004
  • 2004 - Pastor Khosroo Yusefi and his family arrested by Iranian Police on Sunday May 23, 2004
  • 2003 - International Religious Freedom Report on Iran
  • 1996 - Rev. Bagher Yusefi - Church of Sari
  • 1994 - Rev. Tateos Mikaelian - Church of Tehran
  • 1994 - Rev. Mehdi Dibaj
  • 1994 - Bishop Haik Hovsepian - Church of Tehran
  • 1990 - Rev. Hossein Soodmand - Church of Mashhad
  • 1980s - Rev. Sayyah - Church of Shiraz
  • 1980s - Bahram Deghani-Tafti, the 1st martyre of the modern Iranian Church - Son of an Anglican Bishop Hassan Dehqani-Tafti
Iranian Muslims Turn to Christ Despite Threat, Persecution!

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