By BosNewsLife Middle East Service
TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– An Iranian Christian convert was free Sunday, April 29, after he was released from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison following some 180 days of imprisonment, but concerns remained over other detained believers, Iranian Christians
Fariborz Arazm, who was held on charges that included “evangelism” was “conditionally released after six months imprisonment,” said Mohabat News, a Christian news agency comprised of activists and Iranian Christians.
“After his arrest, Mr. Arazm was held in Rajaei-Shahr prison of” the Iranian city of Karaj “but after some time officials transferred him to Evin prison for further interrogation,” the news agency added.
A local court reportedly said he could be charged for “being in contact
with missionaries and…promoting the Christian faith among Iranian Muslims.”
Security forces detained him at his home last year in the town of Robat-Karim, some 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) southwest of Tehran, the capital, Iranian Christians said.
Arazm was reportedy released April 11 but the 44-year-old married believer was expected to be closely monitored by Iranian authorities in the strict Islamic nation.
Three other Christian converts also named in Arazm’s case left Iran before security authorities could detain then, according to fellow believers.
Yet, concerns remained over other believers including several house church Christians held behind bars in the city of Shiraz, Mohabat News said.
It said at least five Christian converts were jailed in Adel-Abad prison of Shiraz have had their first rough interrogations following 80 days of imprisonment.
The Christians were identified as Fariba Nazemian, Mojtaba Hosseini, Homayoun Shokoohi, Mohamad-Reza Partoei Koroush and Vahid Hakkani.
Among others detained is Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who faces the death sentence for refusing to abandon his faith in Jesus Christ and return to Islam, according to court documents.
A reported crackdown on devoted Christians comes amid reported concerns by authorities over the spread of Christianity among even government officials and in the army.
Mohabat News cited sources as saying that Iran’s Islamic authorities are “highly concerned” about the growing tendency towards Christianity which “has now reached the authorities, officials and their family members whether inside or outside the country.”
It added that Christianity is growing increasingly among Iranians, within the armed forces.