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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Church Elder Seized and Imprisoned

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) -- A prominent elder of Narmak’s Assembly of God Church in Tehran has been arrested at work by the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of State Security agents.

According to a story by the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN), on Feb. 8, agents of the Ministry of State Security of the Islamic Regime raided Maasis Mosesian’s work, and took him to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. As yet his family and friends have not been informed of charges against him, and reasons for the sudden arrest.

FCCN said Mosesian was able to let church members know with a brief phone call where he was being held, although he was not allowed to contact his family until Feb. 11.

His wife and son drove to the prison on Feb. 12 hoping to see Mosesian. They were not allowed to do so, and told to leave.

FCNN said other than an admission of his incarceration, there is a lack of legal documentation or even verbal reasons for the sudden arrest.

FCNN commented, “Unlike the civilized world, in the Islamic Republic burden of proof rests with the accused. However, accusations are only leveled after lengthy interrogations, frequently under torture.”

FCNN said Mosesian is Armenian and married with two children. He works in a private company, as state jobs are denied to non-Muslims. He is well known as a Christian.

FCNN said the news of his sudden arrest has been met with disbelief and apprehension amongst church membership.

FCNN commented, “We should remind our readers of the sustained waves of arrests and detentions of Christians carried out by the Islamic Regime across the country. (This) has been going on since before Christmas.”

FCNN said even though most of these attacks have been directed against new converts, the more traditional Assyrian and Armenian Church and their members have not been immune from the Ministry of State Security’s attention.

FCNN said Assembly of God Churches in Tehran and other Islamic ruled cities are being spied on and raided on an almost daily basis.

Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is "Homeless in the City."

Additional details on "Homeless in the City" are available at Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at

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