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2006 Tuesday 26 December
Iran Press News: Human rights activists in Iran reported that the ministry of intelligence and security (MOIS) officials prohibited the Christmas mass ceremonies in the Church in the northern city of Rasht.
Following the extensive arrest of Christians in cities across Iran by MOIS officials religious ceremonies are prohibited via pressure and threats. Due to the threats and pressure, after the arrest of the leaders of their church in recent weeks, the parishioners of the church have been unable to hold mass.
Three years ago, the church in Rasht was also stormed by MOIS agents during a religious ceremony; the agents then confiscated all of the church’s belongings, never to return them. The parishioners once again refurnished their church and due to the continued threats by MOIS, they changed the days of their worship and mass from Sundays to Tuesdays.
The church leaders remain in MOIS custody. Between Wednesday, December 13th to Tuesday, December 19th the church leaders were taken 3 times from prison to the Rasht revolutionary court where they were illegally tried. Their families are extremely concerned about the status of their loved ones. MOIS agents prevented their families from seeing them in front of courthouse.
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