February 20, 2012
A prominent elder of Narmak's Assembly of God Church in Tehran was arrested at work by agents from the Islamic Republic's Ministry of State Security, ASSIST News Service reports. As of yet, Maasis Mosesian's family and friends have not been informed of charges against him or reasons for the sudden arrest. He was able to let church members know with a brief phone call where he was being detained, although he was not allowed to contact his family, and his wife and son were not allowed to see him upon arriving at the prison. According to the Farsi Christian News Network, "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." Sustained waves of arrests and detentions of Christians have increased in recent months, and Assembly of God churches in Tehran and other Islamic-ruled cities are being spied on and raided almost daily.