Five Iranian Christians were arrested on Friday Aug. 26 during a trip to the Alborz Mountains north-east of Tehran, the latest in a recent spate of arrests. Their wives and families have expressed concern for their safety. One of them, Afshar Naderi, had been arrested before, on Dec. 26, 2014. Also arrested that day was Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz, whose son, Ramil, was part of the group arrested on Aug. 26.

Victor Bet-Tamraz led the Tehran Pentecostal Assyrian Church before it was shut down by Iran’s Ministry of Interior in March 2009. He and Naderi—a convert to Christianity—were arrested alongside another convert while celebrating Christmas at the pastor’s house. All three were charged with conducting illegal evangelism and kept mostly in solitary confinement in Evin prison, before being released on bail in February and March 2015. READ MORE