Iran house church raided by officials; two Christian converts arrested

Christians account for less than one per cent of the population of IranAP

Iranian officials raided a house church near Azerbaijan Street in Tehran and arrested two men on Aug. 12, 2014.

According to AssistNews, the two men have been identified as 28-year-old Mehdi Vaziri, a graphic designer and 27-year-old Amir Kian, a music graduate. Kian and Vaziri are Christian converts and were gathering at the house to pray and study the Bible before it was raided.

"The raid happened when the owner of the house, where the house church service was being held, went out to guide two new believers to their gathering. When the authorities attacked, he was still out and because authorities still watch his house, he cannot return there," said a source, according to Mohabat News.

The owner of the house cannot return because he broke Iran's law which is governed by Sharia law. The Council on Foreign Relations states that "Sharia also meaning 'path' in Arabic, guides all aspects of Muslim life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Quran and the Sunna—the sayings, practices, and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed." According to Sharia law, those converting from Islam to Christianity are guilty of apostasy.

The two converts are being held in Iran's Ghezel-Hesar Prison. It is likely that they will be charged with being a danger to national security, spying for foreigners or something of the like.

Christianity is a threat to Iranian authorities who swear allegiance to Islam and use arrests and governmental pressure to impede the growth of house churches. Moreover, The U.N. reports that 49 Christians have been arrested in Iran because of their faith. However, this is only the amount of publicized cases and not an accurate representation of the number of actual cases.