A Christian man was attacked and arrested in Iran just before Christmas, a time when Iranian officials have been cracking down on those celebrating or observing the holiday, according to an Iranian news agency.
Meysam Hojjati, a convert to Christianity from Islam, was arrested Dec. 23 by plainclothes officers at his home in Isfahan, where they presented him with a warrant for his arrest, Mohabat News, an Iranian Christian news agency, reported.
The officers inspected Hojjati’s home, confiscating Bibles, a Christmas tree, all cell phones, a computer and other personal belongings, while assaulting him in front of family members, the report said.
Hojjati’s family was threatened against disclosing any information regarding his arrest as they begged the officers to allow him to change into warmer clothing before he was dragged off into the freezing cold weather.
Almost a week since the arrest, the family is still waiting for information about Hojjati’s whereabouts and current status.
While Assyrians and Armenians, the Christian minorities who are born into the religion can more freely practice their faith in Iran, government intolerance towards Christian converts leaving the religion of Islam has resulted in large-scale crackdowns, monitoring and arrests of dozens of converts this holiday season by Iran’s Intelligence Services.