Christian leaders are shocked by the arrest of an entire Assemblies of God congregation, in the city of Ahvaz in the south east of Iran. Children were among those arrested. The Assemblies of God denomination has about 60 million members, and is the sixth largest Christian denomination in the world.
On 23rd December 2011 two security police busses arrived outside the meeting place of the Assemblies of God Church in Ahvaz where local Christians had gathered to celebrate Christmas. The security police arrested the entire congregation, including children, and took them in the busses with their faces covered to an ‘unknown location’, according to the agency Mohabat News. Thankfully most of the congregation were released after a few hours, but the pastor, Farhad Sabokroh, his wife Shahnaz Jeizan, and two other leaders of the church, Naser Zamen-Dezfuli and Davoud Alijani, were kept in detention. Shahnaz Jeizan was released on January 1st, 2012, but the three men are still in prison.
• Traumatized children
• Release of Pastor Sabokroh, Naser Zamen-Dezfuli, and Davoud Alijani
• Witness of church to grow in midst of this persecution