Iran: Christian convert arrested in Anzali, family in distress

April 30, 2022

The Iranian government targets converts to Christianity because it considers them to be apostate and threats to the state. 

The U.S. State Department has classified Iran as a “country of particular concern” for “having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

For previous coverage of Iran, see here.

“Christian convert arrested in Anzali, family in distress,” Article 18, April 21, 2022:

A Christian convert in Iran was arrested after a dozen plainclothes agents from the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) raided his house, confiscating several Bibles.

Rahmat Rostamipour, 49, was driven away in a convoy of four cars at 8am on Monday, 18 April, from his home in Anzali, a city in the north of the country.

As well as confiscating the Bibles, the agents also took possession of the family’s phones, ID cards, a number of books, and some tablets used by the couple’s children for school, before taking Rahmat into custody.

The authorities made it clear they also intended to arrest Rahmat’s wife, Azar, but refrained from doing so because the raid brought on a panic attack in the couple’s teenage daughter.

However, Azar was summoned to the MOIS Office in Anzali the following day, 19 April, and returned home after hours of interrogation.

The couple have not been formally charged, but during Azar’s questioning she was informally accused of “propaganda against the regime through involvement in house-church activities”….

Iran is number nine on Open Doors’ World Watch List, an annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.