78 years old Christian lady arrested in Esfahan

The security authorities of Iran have taken action against the growth of Christianity and house church movement in Iran and have arrested many believers in different cities of Iran. In this connection, a 78 year old Christian lady has also been arrested in Esfahan, reports Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News.

According to reporters of Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, Ms. Giti Hakimpour, a Christian minister who resides in Esfahan was arrested in her flat by security authorities.

The security authorities raided Ms. Hakimpour's home at 6:00 a.m. on February 22, 2012, at the same time as the attack on Mr. Hekmat Salimi's home. They arrested and transferred her to an unknown location.

Ms. Hakimpour, who is 78 years old, is a member and minister of St. Luke's church in Esfahan. She was living on her own in an apartment. Witnesses saw both police and private cars parking down below her flat from 6 in the morning.

Knowledgeable sources told Mohabat News, the intelligence officers initially interrogated her in her flat. Then they arrested her, thoroughly searched her apartment and confiscated some of her personal belongings.

Eyewitnesses said the officers were there for three hours until 9:00 a.m. and then took Ms. Hakimpour with them. No information is available concerning her whereabouts and health condition at the time of publishing this post. She has no relatives inside Iran. However, the news of her arrest has caused a wave of anxiety among her relatives living outside Iran. The Iranian Christian community calls on Iranian authorities to release her and take measures to exonerate her of any charges.

It has been reported that she had not been in a good health the night before her arrest and was using some medicines because of the knee replacement surgery she had undergone. Also the doctor had ordered that she should not be stressed and that she needs to be under special care. So, holding her in custody without basic facilities could cause her difficulties. The responsibility of life and any possible health problems for this elderly lady rest directly on Iranian authorities.

Ms. Giti Hakimpour was born in a family who converted to Christianity from a Jewish background. She is a relative of Bishop Iraj Mottahedeh, former bishop of St. Luke's church in Esfahan. She retired from the Hospital of Oil Industry Company in Masjed-Soleiman and held a matron position there. She trained many nurses, some of whom are currently serving in hospitals of Iran.

It needs to be remembered that in a fashion, security authorities of the Intelligence Office attacked the home of Pastor Hekmat Salimi in Fooladshahr of Esfahan at 7:00 a.m. on 22 February 2012. They also arrested and transferred him to an unknown location without providing any kind of explanation. There are still no updates available concerning his situation.

No doubt, these anti-Christian actions are being taken in order to intimidate and terrorize Christians, especially Christian converts. These are being done when some while ago, Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, who is known as the theoretician of the Islamic regime, said in a meeting with the President and Vice President of the Office of Islamic Propaganda in the Islamic Seminary of Qom that, "some work has been done and moneys have been spent to counter the growth of Christianity in some provinces but the outcome is not satisfactory because no one is supervising these efforts."

According to the reports published by Mohabat News, during these first two months of 2012, the security authorities of the Intelligence Ministry have arrested Christian citizens individually or in groups in cities of Ahwaz, Shiraz, Tehran and Esfahan.

Published: Monday, February 27, 2012