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Iran Releases Two More Christian Converts

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 (12:00 am)
Posted in: Christian Persecution - Asia

By BosNewsLife News Center

TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife) — Two Iranian converts to Christianity jailed for the past few weeks have been released by authorities, who demanded valuable property deeds as bail collateral, a Christian news agency reported Tuesday, June 3.

Compass Direct News said authorities in the city of Shiraz set free 21-year-old Mojtaba Hussein, who was charged with “activities against [Iran's] holy religion”, on a bail guarantee worth US$20,000.

Similar charges were leveled against Hamoyon Shokohie Gholamzadeh, 58, another former Muslim who was arrested just hours before authorities detained Hussein and three members of his family on May 11, several Christian sources said.

Six other converts arrested with Hussein and Gholamzadeh as part of an apparent government crackdown on former Muslims, were reportedly accused of “activities against the country.”

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Another Christian convert arrested with his wife in late April in the northern city of Amol, in Mazandaran province, was ordered released three days ago, but required to post bail with “a huge deposit” based on the worth of his home, Compass Direct News reported.

The convert’s pregnant wife had been released after three days in custody. "This is the pattern they usually follow," an Iranian pastor now living abroad who knows the Amol couple was quoted as saying. "They put them in jail for a few weeks, beat them, and put a lot of pressure on them to get information about the other converts."

While Iranian authorities have released Christians in recent days, several converts remain behind bars, including two persons detained in a Shiraz park on May 13, rights investigators said. Their location and condition remained unknown, Tuesday, June 2.

Mahmood Matin and a second man identified only by his first name, Arash, are members of another house church group in the city. Open Doors and other human rights groups have suggested that Iranian authorities have taken tough meassures against former Muslim converts as Christianity has been spreading in the Islamic nation.

Copyright 2008 BosNewsLife. All rights reserved.
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