Iranian news reports the arrest of Mary Fatemeh Mohammadi, a Christian human rights activist working from within Tehran.
Mary was arrested on January 12th, near Azadi Square, where protesters had gathered to demonstrate against Iran having accidently shot down a commercial passenger plane. Neither her location nor her status is known at this time, according to International Christian Concern.
The arrest occurred just after she had made several tweets about the repression of Iran’s government towards its people. Her tweets included statements such as, “tackling soft repression is harder than hard oppression.” She spoke of how batons and tear gas are used to suppress any voice of protests. She also talked about how the protesters were resisting against the regime’s oppression.
Recall that Mohammadi was unjustly expelled from Tehran University last year, without any explanation.
On April 7th, 2018, Mohammadi, who was 19 years old at the time, was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Ahmadzadeh, to six months’ imprisonment on charges of “membership in proselytizing groups,” “Christian activity,” and “acting against national security through propaganda against the regime.” She was released from Evin Prison’s women’s ward after completing her sentence.
Iran is rated as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Christians are often arbitrarily detained, arrested, tortured, and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. As an Islamic country, any other religion is viewed as a national security threat.
Although the Iranian government insists that it offers religious freedom, persecution watchdog groups and human rights agencies have said the Islamic regime is very hostile toward minorities, including Christians, Baha’is, and others.
Iran ranks 9th on Christian support organization Open Doors 2020 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.