Christian leaders in Iran have said that pressure on Christians increases every year around Christmas but that this year it is particularly severe.
At least seven Iranian Christian converts have been arrested in Iran, including two sisters who allegedly have been beaten.
Shima Zanganeh, 27, and her sister, Shokoufeh, 30, were arrested by Intelligence Service officials in their homes in Ahvaz, capital of Iran’s western Khuzestan province, on 2 December, reports Mohabat News.
They were taken to Amanayeh security offices in Ahvaz and then transferred to Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz on Wednesday, 12 December. The sisters appeared in court and were granted conditional release on a bail of 500 million tomans (approximately US $50,000) each.
The family was able to raise the necessary funds, but at each court appearance to secure the sisters’ release, they have been told “the judge is not in today,” the news service said.
It said a reason for the delay could be that authorities want the wounds and bruises of the beatings to fade away before releasing the women.
Prison authorities had informed the Zanganeh family that the sisters were beaten during one of the interrogation sessions and the sisters confirmed this in a later phone call. On the same day the Zanganeh sisters were arrested, security authorities also raided the homes of Farzad Behzadizadeh, 30, and Abdollah Yousefi, 34, and confiscated Christian books, phones and computers, according to Mohabat.