Iranian Christian converts beaten and detained by police

Christian converts have been beaten and arrested when the Iranian police raided their house church in the city of Karaj.

Plain clothed officers raided the house church last month as part of a wider crackdown on house churches, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). They beat up a group of at least eight converts, confiscated their Bibles and removed satellite dishes on the building.

The converts were then arrested and taken away in a van for detention, despite the authorities never acquiring the legal orders to arrest the worshippers, BoxNewsLife reported.

Ministry of Information forces carried out the arrests and detainees were taken to an undisclosed location. Despite a "relentless pursuit" and the continued efforts of family members, "no information on their whereabouts or their physical condition," has been released, according to Mohabat News.

Three of the converts were released later but no information is available concerning the remaining prisoners, the NCRI said.

The raid is part of a broader stifling of religious freedom in Iran, the NCRI added. Iran, a Shi'ite Islamic country, is now home to at least 360,000 Christians.

In addition to the recent attacks on Christians, the Iranian regime destroyed a Sunni prayer hall in Tehran in July to prevent the Sunni Islamic community from using the building as a mosque.

"Today, the Middle East is facing a watershed moment," Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian Resistance, said in a July statement.

"Moderate forces striving for human rights must be supported and faith community leaders can contribute a great deal toward the establishment of a free Iran, where human rights are respected."