Amid escalating pressure on Christian converts in Iran, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic have reportedly arrested three converts in the city of Dezhful.
The news was broken by the website Mohabbat on Monday, April 19, and described as a sign of the new wave of harassment of Christian converts in Khuzestan province.
The three citizens were named as Esmaeil Narimanpour, Mohammad Ali Torabi, and Alireza Varak Shah. Their homes and workplaces were reportedly raided by intelligence officers on the Monday morning.
A well-informed source was quoted as saying that security agents had come to Esmaeil Narimanpour's house at 7am. He was taken away to an unknown location.
They added: “The agents also went to Mohammad Ali Torabi's shop and took him back to his house. After searching the house and confiscating his mobile phone, they asked him to report to the intelligence office. Mr. Torabi was arrested after doing so."
The whereabouts of Mr. Narimanpour and Mr. Varak Shah are still unknown.
Christianity is one of the few minority religions to have formal recognition in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic. But the authorities deal with Muslims who convert to Christianity differently, and treat them as a security threat.
In its latest annual report, the Christian organization Open Doors named the Islamic Republic as the eighth worst state for anti-Christian behavior in the world.