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Iran tightens grip on the church
Iranian police are tightening their grip on the church in Iran as part of a drive against "social corruption". The spokesman for 'Voice of the Martyrs', Todd Nettleton, has expressed concern about a religious law that makes the death penalty mandatory for people who convert from Islam.
The draft legislation defines an apostate as "any Muslim who clearly announces that he/she has left Islam and declares blasphemy."
In the last 2 months, 12 Christians have been arrested; mainly church leaders. They have been interrogated and then released on bail. Only one, Mr Mohsen Namvar, is still being held. In 2007, Namvar was arrested and tortured for baptizing Muslim converts. He had recently received a warning that the authorities had him under surveillance.
Todd Nettleton has said, "The church is growing at an absolutely phenomenal rate in Iran. Muslims are coming to know Christ; they're getting involved with these house church groups. That is what has caused the concern of the government. That's why these arrests are happening."