On May 21 five newly converted Christians were arrested in Karaj, Iran after plain clothes security officers raided a house church where they had gathered for a Bible study, according to Farsi Christian Network News (FCNN).
FCNN reported that the leader of the house church, Javad Abtahi, was among those arrested and his house was searched during the raid. … [He] was given no arrest warrant by the security officers and his house was searched without any court authorization,” FCNN said. “In this search and seizure, several Bibles, New Testaments were confiscated and all the participants were handcuffed and taken to an unknown location.”
The families of the arrested believers have tried to ask the government where their loved ones are being held, without any success. FCNN added that the government has always refused to disclose where it holds arrested believers.
This incident is the latest arrest of believers in Iran in recent months. On March 5, Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad and Maryam Rustampoor were arrested by Iranian security forces and labeled “anti-government activists.” Thirty year-old Marzieh and 27-year-old Maryam are being held at Evin Prison, which is notorious for treating women badly. Recently FCNN reported that both are ill, but their faith in Christ has not wavered. One of them recently said, “I’ve taken up my cross, I now have to bear it.”
The Voice of the Martyrs supports persecuted believers like the five recently arrested and Marzieh and Maryam. VOM encourages you to pray for these believers and others in Iran who risk their lives daily because of their faith. You can also write and send letters of encouragement to Maryam and Marzieh at www.prisoneralert.com