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Assyrian Church Leader Arrested in Iran

An Assyrian church leader and two colleagues were arrested in Tehran on December 26 by the Iranian regime's State Security Forces, a Persian language Christian website has reported.

A group of plain-clothes agents raided the home of Pastor Victor Beth, who had been repeatedly intimidated by the authorities in the past for holding Persian languages masses.

A spokesman for the 'Alliance of Iranian Churches', which unites evangelists and protestant churches, told the media: "State security forces raided the home of Pastor Victor Beth Tarmez, seized his personal belongings and transferred him to Evin prison.

"In recent years we have witnessed waves of arrests of Christians during the Christmas period."

The agents who raided the house separated the men and women who were attending the Christmas celebration, then body-searched them and confiscated their identity documents and telephones.

The agents searched the house and confiscated the Pastor's belongings including his computer, books and mobile phones.

In recent weeks there has been numerous reports of arrests and harassment of Christians in Iran.

One report said that nine Christians were arrested in a house church in city of Roudehen, in Tehran province, in Iran on Christmas day and transferred to an unknown location.

The nine were named as Mehdi Kian, Ali Sadraddin, Mohammad Kazemi, Azin Faroudi, Mohammad Hossein Moridian, Maryam Narimani, Alireza Nasiri and Brother Matin.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said recently in a speech in Qom that the phenomenon of house churches and the Baha'is are forms of animosity toward the 'Islamic Republic'.


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