Elam Ministries, which works closely with churches in Iran, reports that Iran has released a few of the Christians it imprisoned in mass arrests of Christians on December 26, 2010. One woman, Yasaman Yar-Ahmadiwere, and two men, Rafi Nadipoor and Basir Amini, were released in Isfahan on January 28; four women, Sara Akhavan, Ladan Nouri, Nasrin Hosseini-nia, and Anahita Zare, were released from Tehran’s Evin Prison on the 29th. They had spent over a month in prison, most of them in solitary confinement, solely for being Christians.
They were released only on bail, which means that they may still be tried. In keeping with common regime practice, the bail for one of those released, Sara Akhavan, included her family’s trade license, which means their livelihood will be destroyed if the authorities say that bail has been broken.
At least 26 Christians remain in prison, including Sara Akhavan’s sister Leila, and Anahita Zare’s husband Javad, and Yousef Nadarkhani, sentenced to death for apostasy.
— Paul Marshall is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.