Iran Arrests 12 Christians in Less Than 2 Months

An Iranian Christian woman leaves a church after a prayer ceremony in Tehran September 17, 2006. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl(IRAN) – RTR1HEXU An Iranian Christian woman leaves a church after a prayer ceremony in Tehran September 17, 2006. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl
An Iranian Christian woman leaves a church after a prayer ceremony in Tehran September 17, 2006. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl(IRAN) – RTR1HEXU An Iranian Christian woman leaves a church after a prayer ceremony in Tehran September 17, 2006. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Iran has arrested 12 Christians in less than two months for practicing their faith over increased government fears of the spread of Christianity.

The Center For Human Rights In Iran (CHRI) noted Thursday the arrest of 11 Christian converts and the leader Iran’s Assyrian Pentecostal Church as a “disturbing trend” in judicial persecution against Christians, according to Radio Free Europe. Iranian courts charged Christians with blasphemy, operating house churches, and blasphemy for drinking wine as part of the communion rite, despite the Iranian constitution’s recognition of the religion.

Human rights group Article 18 said the Iranian government increased persecution of Christians because the Islamic government’s fear of Christians conversions, according to World Watch Monitor.

“It could be interpreted as a sign that they want to send a message to the Iranian Christians inside the country, and perhaps also to the wider world,” Mansour Borji of Article 18 told World Watch Monitor. “The charges are out of fear, the sentences are harsh and out of fear, and the whole way the court hearings have been conducted – and how people are threatened and intimidated not to go public with their stories – tells us about how the Iranian government is fearful of the growth of Christianity inside Iran.”

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SOURCE: The Daily Caller, Joshua Gill