By BosNewsLife Middle East Service
TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– Iran has released a man who was jailed and tortured for activities linked to his recent conversion to Christianity, but concerns remained Monday, August 8 about two other detained believers, Iranian Christians said.
Ebrahim Firoozi, 26, was released 154 days after his detention in the town of Robat-Karim, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of the capital Tehran, reported Mohabat News, an independent Iranian Christian news agency.
He was reportedly held on charges that included “insulting Islamic beliefs, and activities that are contrary to the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Iranian police reportedly also searched his home and seized personal belongings including Christian CDs, and 4,500 Christian publications, including evangelistic pamphlets and Bibles.
Christians linked the length of his detention to his family’s inability to pay the reported $40,000 bail demanded by an Iranian court. During his time in prison he was allegedly tortured, Firoozi was quoted as saying that the treatment improved after international publicity about his case.
However two other Azeri-speaking converts remained jailed Monday, August 8, as part of what local Christians have described as growing pressure on Christian converts in the Islamic nation.
Vahid Rofegar and Reza Kahnamoei were reportedly detained July 15 in the northwestern city of Tabriz. They were taken into custody after being chased by police while driving on a motorcycle which eventually overturned, Christians said.
Mohabat News cited unidentified eyewitnesses as saying that the Christians were injured in the incident.
The extend of their injururies was not immediately known Monday, August 8. “The latest update on their case is that the security officials have transferred them into the prison of the city of Abhar and kept them separate from each other,” Mohabat News said.
Their imprisonment comes shortly after several pro-government websites reportedly complained about the “wide spread of Christianity,
especially in the city of Tabriz”.
Majid Abhari, the adviser of the social commission of Iran’s Islamic parliament, reportedly said recently that some 6,500 copies of the Bible’s New Testament were seized in Tabriz.
“This new wave of pressures and threats that the Christian converts are facing in the Azeri-speaking cities of Iran shows
that the threats and pressure of the Islamic regime” continues, Mohabat News commented.