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Christian Priest And Wife Arrested In Iran


Hamid Shafiee (left)and his wife, Reyhaneh Aghajari

Hamid Shafiee (left)and his wife, Reyhaneh Aghajari

A Christian priest and his wife have been arrested at their home in the city of Isfahan, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Reyhaneh Aghajari and Hamid Shafiee were arrested on February 28 by security agents who took away their personal belongings, including books, mobile telephones, CDs and a number of Bibles in Persian. The two reportedly converted to Christianity about 15 years ago.

Their whereabouts and the charges against them are not clear.

Meanwhile, the wife of a another Christian priest, Wilson Issavi, who was also arrested in Isfahan about a month ago, has said that her husband has been tortured in jail. Issavi is the leader of the Assyrian evangelical church of Kermanshah. Madeleine Nazanin was quoted by a Christian website, "FCNN," as saying that her husband's condition in jail is deplorable.

She said that an official at the detention center where her husband is being held in Isfahan has said that he has been charged with baptizing and converting Muslims, and that he is awaiting his "trial and execution."

Islamic law -- as applied in Iran -- says a Muslim who converts to another faith can face the death penalty. In recent years, there have been no reported cases of execution of converts.

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Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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