Monday, December 26, 2011

Eve of Christmas Attack on Church in South-West of Iran

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

AHVAZ, IRAN (ANS) -- Two days before Christmas, State Security agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, attacked the Assembly of God Church in Ahvaz, and detained the pastor, the Rev. Farhad Sabok-Rooh, and his wife.

Rev. Farhad Sabok-Rooh

According to the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN) – the attack took place on Friday, December 23, 2011, at 11:00 local time, during the weekly service in the church located in the city of Ahvaz, the center of oil rich province of Khuzestan, situated about 559 miles south-west of Tehran, when a large number of State Security agents surrounded the building and raided the church, located in Kianpars 3th street.

“All those present, including children attending their Friday school, were arrested, mobile phones confiscated, and church building thoroughly searched by the plainclothes agents who refused to identify themselves,” said the FCCN story.

“A number of computers, all audio-visual equipment, and hundreds of copies of Christian books, were seized and removed; Church attendees were relieved of their mobile phones and were taken on two buses to an unknown destination.

“A number of armed State Security agents of the Islamic Republic stayed on who continued their search for a considerable time afterwards.”

FCNN reports that almost all detainees, after a thorough searched and considerable verbal abuse, were released a few hours later.

However, Rev. Farhad Sabok-Rooh, his wife Shahnaz, and two other Christian workers, named David and Naser, have not been released but are being held in an unidentified prison.

“The released church attendees have been told to be ready to be summoned back, and if it is deemed not to be harmful to the security of the Islamic Republic, their mobiles may be returned then,” said FCCN.

However, the whereabouts of Rev. Farhad, his wife Shahnaz, and the other two church workers is as yet unknown, and the “authorities” have thus far not given any reason for their vehement Anti-Christian activities in Ahvaz.

“During the months of January and February of this year; many house churches in Ahvaz and Dezfool were raided and during a wave of attacks against Christians,” added FCCN.

“Many have been detained while many more were called-in to the Ministry of Intelligence offices in Ahwaz. According to one source at least three have been detained and more than 20 were called in for interrogation and intimidation.”



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