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Report: Iran Arrests Suspected Converts to Christianity

Thursday, May 29, 2008 • 3:33 pm

Amid a growing crackdown on religious freedom, Iranian police reportedly have been rounding up people they suspect have converted to Christianity.

On May 11, police arrested eight people in the southern city of Shiraz, according to Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, a Christian organization that fights religious persecution.

Converting from Islam is a crime in Iran; converts can face jail and other penalties.

Most of those detained have been released, but at least one of them, 21-year-old Mojtaba Hussein, is still behind bars and is not cooperating with his captors, according to Moeller.

“He may not be willing to give up the names of other Muslim converts. He may not be willing to recant his faith himself,” Moeller said.

Numerous calls to Iranian government representatives in the U.S. have not been returned.

12 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook

Religion of peace? Feh!

[1] Posted by Nikolaus on 05-29-2008 at 03:52 PM • top

None of this is new, just the phase has lead to increased persecutions yet again!

There is a local ministry that formed by converts from Iran that seeks to spread the Gospel to Muslims here and abroad.

Mina Nevisa has written two books on her experiences: <u>Don’t Keep Me Silent! One Woman’s Escape from the Chains of Islam</u> and Miracle of Miracles - to obtain a copy, the address is at the bottom of the link.

Not specifically about religious persecution, but general overall oppression from the Islamic Republic of Iran is a report from Jane Kokan on Frontline World.

Thank you for posting this, Greg. May we not forget the one in ten Christians that suffer for their trust in Jesus our Christ and remember them in our prayers. Our government may not have much leverage with Tehran, but I know another much more powerful who does!

[2] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 05-29-2008 at 04:15 PM • top

Don’t worry, Baracky will straighten this all out with Mahmoud, face to face, man to man.

[3] Posted by Jeffersonian on 05-29-2008 at 04:28 PM • top

Amen, Hosea6:6.

[4] Posted by oscewicee on 05-29-2008 at 04:39 PM • top

“Don’t worry, Baracky will straighten this all out with Mahmoud, face to face, man to man”

Jeffersonian [#3]: Your venom never ceases.

[5] Posted by Irenaeus on 05-29-2008 at 05:38 PM • top

It is not is or should be a wake up call..

[6] Posted by ewart-touzot on 05-29-2008 at 06:12 PM • top

Many have died for Christ in Shiraz.

[7] Posted by Alice Linsley on 05-29-2008 at 07:17 PM • top

Some other great sources of up-to-date information on the persecution of Christians around the world would include:

Voice of the Martyrs.  An evangelical mission outreach.  They produce dramatic, touching reports written in easily accessible, heart-rending style.  See their website,

The Institute on Religion and Democracy.  Founded by the late, great Episcopal lay woman extraordinaire, Diane Knippers, IRD has long been an effective advocate for religious freedom around the world.  Our own Faith McDonnell (CANA, Church of the Apostles, Fairfax, VA) heads up the Religious Freedom program for IRD.  Their reports are filled with more statistics and are aimed more at the head as well as the heart.  See their website,

Finally, Freedom House in Washington, D.C. also does outstanding work in promoting religious freedom around the world, but concentrates more on lobbying the U.S. government, which they do very effectively.  Their reports are the most thorough and scholarly.

And then there are individuals like Paul Maarshall or Baroness Caroline Cox who do heroic work on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world.

But despite all of these resources and advocates, and others besides them, most Christians are blithely unaware that religious persecution is very, very real and is horrifyingly common.  It’s a well-documented fact that more Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in the 19 previous centuries put together.  And things aren’t getting any better in the 21st century.

It is a scandal that so few Christians know about this, or seem to care.

David Handy+

[8] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 05-29-2008 at 07:47 PM • top

The Barnabas Fund is another good source:

[9] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 05-29-2008 at 07:52 PM • top

David+ and Timothy, thanks for the links.

[10] Posted by oscewicee on 05-29-2008 at 07:57 PM • top

Bishop Chane’s pals, at it again.

[11] Posted by RomeAnglican on 05-29-2008 at 09:26 PM • top

The truth of the extent of Christians being persecuted needs to be told. And pressure needs to be put on the PB to speak out for these faithful ones to Christ and His Church. That’s where our money should go to help besieged Christian worldwide. But then who really cares for the Christian Sudanese. We Must.!!!!!!!

[12] Posted by Forever Anglican on 05-29-2008 at 10:32 PM • top

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