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70 Christians arrested in Iran

Catholic World News - January 06, 2011

Iranian authorities have arrested 70 evangelical Christians in recent weeks.

“The leaders of this movement have been arrested in Tehran province and more will be arrested in the near future,” said provincial governor Morteza Tamaddon. “Just like the Taliban … who have inserted themselves into Islam like a parasite, they have crafted a movement with Britain’s backing in the name of Christianity,” he said. “But their conspiracy was unveiled quickly and the first blows were delivered to them.”

Tamaddon denounced the Christians as missionaries engaged in a “cultural onslaught” against the Islamic state.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide, an organization that combats the persecution of Christians, notes:

The government puts severe pressure on such individuals, interrogating them brutally and holding them in solitary confinement in order to obtain the names of other church members, to deter them from continuing to practice their faith and to threaten them with further ramifications for Christian activities.

Only 0.02% of the nation’s 72.6 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics; overall, Christians account for 2%-3% of the population.

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