Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » Iranian Police Release 10 Evangelical Pastors

christian news

Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » Iranian Police Release 10 Evangelical Pastors


No reasons given for four-day detention.

by Barbara G. Baker

ISTANBUL, September 13 (Compass) — 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.

Copyright 1999-2015 Worthy News. All rights reserved.

Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

No Comment

Leave a Reply

What is Worthy News?

Worthy News is an independent Christian news agency which reports news not covered by other outlets, on key developments in a rapidly changing world. Worthy News reaches both Christians and non-Christians around the globe and strives to be balanced and make a difference in these strategic times.

Worthy News. Reliable-Trustworthy-Cutting Edge

Recommended Links

  • Watchmen in the Wilderness

    • Reader Question: Where do you get that Sept. 23, 2015 is Jubilee (of Jerusalem)?
      First of all, it is important to know that God is not working on our Gregorian calendar but He is rather fulfilling His Word according to the calendar that He established, which is a 360 […]
    • Are you looking back? Remember Lot's Wife!
      As this shocking Supreme Court decision on Gay marriage settles into the nation, I'm reminded of the passage in Luke where Yeshua (Jesus) told us one of the final signs of His return. He said it […]
    • Supreme Court: Not One but THREE Strikes!
      Most are aware of the recent decision by the Supreme Court on the issue of same-sex marriage, but many may not realize that this was only one of the history-making decisions reached this session. This past month, […]
    • The Water Breaking Moment?
      In Matthew 24, Yeshua (Jesus) makes an interesting correlation between the end of the age and a woman giving birth. [Matthew 24:8]. As the birth of a baby draws near, the birth pangs intensify, and […]
    • Prophetic Calendar for 2015
      As requested by many and after much prayer and research, I have compiled a list of significant events over which we must be praying in the coming months. The post Prophetic Calendar for 2015 appeared […]
  • Editor’s Picks


  • 1999-2015 Worthy Christian News » Iranian Police Release 10 Evangelical Pastors