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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Eve of Christmas Attack on Church in South-West of Iran

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

AHVAZ, IRAN (ANS) -- Two days before Christmas, State Security agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, attacked the Assembly of God Church in Ahvaz, and detained the pastor, the Rev. Farhad Sabok-Rooh, and his wife.

Rev. Farhad Sabok-Rooh

According to the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN) -- – the attack took place on Friday, December 23, 2011, at 11:00 local time, during the weekly service in the church located in the city of Ahvaz, the center of oil rich province of Khuzestan, situated about 559 miles south-west of Tehran, when a large number of State Security agents surrounded the building and raided the church, located in Kianpars 3th street.

“All those present, including children attending their Friday school, were arrested, mobile phones confiscated, and church building thoroughly searched by the plainclothes agents who refused to identify themselves,” said the FCCN story.

“A number of computers, all audio-visual equipment, and hundreds of copies of Christian books, were seized and removed; Church attendees were relieved of their mobile phones and were taken on two buses to an unknown destination.

“A number of armed State Security agents of the Islamic Republic stayed on who continued their search for a considerable time afterwards.”

FCNN reports that almost all detainees, after a thorough searched and considerable verbal abuse, were released a few hours later.

However, Rev. Farhad Sabok-Rooh, his wife Shahnaz, and two other Christian workers, named David and Naser, have not been released but are being held in an unidentified prison.

“The released church attendees have been told to be ready to be summoned back, and if it is deemed not to be harmful to the security of the Islamic Republic, their mobiles may be returned then,” said FCCN.

However, the whereabouts of Rev. Farhad, his wife Shahnaz, and the other two church workers is as yet unknown, and the “authorities” have thus far not given any reason for their vehement Anti-Christian activities in Ahvaz.

“During the months of January and February of this year; many house churches in Ahvaz and Dezfool were raided and during a wave of attacks against Christians,” added FCCN.

“Many have been detained while many more were called-in to the Ministry of Intelligence offices in Ahwaz. According to one source at least three have been detained and more than 20 were called in for interrogation and intimidation.”

Dan Wooding, 71, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries and also provides a regular commentary for Worship Life Radio on KWVE. You can follow Dan Wooding on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books, one of which is his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available this link.

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