Detainment / Arrest

  • Six Christians Arrested by Village Chief
    A large wooded area partially hides a village in the mountains of Laos.

    On June 22nd, believers from the village of Tahae gathered at the home of Pastor Mum for a time of prayer in preparation for their Sunday worship service the next day. While the followers of Jesus were praying, the village chief – along with four other community officials – suddenly entered the home before arresting the pastor and five believers because of their Christian faith.

  • Location of 11 Christian Prisoners Unknown
    A prison is in an open area next to mountains in Vietnam.
    A prison in Vietnam
    Photo: VOMC

    Human rights organizations around the world are raising concerns about the fate of 11 Christian prisoners in Vietnam. The Christian men were all sentenced to prison at different times between 2011 and 2016. It has recently come to light that their whereabouts remain a mystery, and that the believers who should have completed their sentences by now were not yet released to return home.

  • Chen Wensheng Sentenced to 19 Months
    Chen Wensheng is smiling.
    Chen Wensheng
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Chen Wensheng is no stranger to arrests and police intimidation. A radically reformed former drug addict, the Christian evangelist has travelled throughout China to share his testimony, gaining the nickname of "Gospel Warrior." (See these other reports about this faithful believer.)

  • Armenian Christian Faces Ten-Year Sentence
    Hakop Gochumyan
    Hakop Gochumyan
    Photo: Article18

    Hakop Gochumyan and his wife Elisa are citizens of Armenia who went to Iran for vacation in August 2023. While the Christian couple and their two children were having dinner at a friend's house, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided the property. The authorities took the Christian family to the home of Elisa's grandmother, where the believers had been staying, and proceeded to search the residence. During the raid, Christian books and other personal belongings were confiscated. The couple was then taken to Evin Prison where they faced interrogation and intense psychological torture.

  • Verdict Expected for Priest Charged with Espionage
    An Orthodox Church of Ukraine monastery is surrounded by trees with a city in the background.
    An "Orthodox Church of Ukraine" monastery.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Rbrechko (cc)

    When Father Kostiantyn Maksimov was taken captive by Russian occupation forces in May 2023, little was known about the whereabouts of the Ukrainian Orthodox priest. In late March 2024, the Russian prosecutor for the Zaporizhzhia Region announced that Father Kostiantyn would be facing espionage charges. (For more details, see this report.)

  • New Health Concerns for Elder Zhang Chunlei
    Zhang Chunlei with his wife
    Elder Zhang Chunlei and his wife
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Zhang Chunlei is an elder with the Ren'ai Reformed Church in Guiyang, China. He was detained in March 2021 and remained in detention without charge until his trial in November 2022, when he was accused of "inciting subversion of state power." The trial was held in secret, without any witnesses, and a verdict has never been announced since then. In the meantime, Elder Zhang continues to remain imprisoned. (Review previously published reports about this church leader's case.)

  • Persistent Harassment Against Church Deacons
    Ding Shuqi and Jia Xuewei
    Jia Xuewei (right) with his friend, Ding Shuqi
    Photo: ChinaAid

    In 2018, the Early Rain Covenant Church was violently raided by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities, resulting in multiple arrests. Since then, members of the church have continued to face harassment, including a church deacon named Jia Xuewei. Click here for previous reports on Jia's situation.

  • Esmaeil Narimanpour Sentenced to Prison
    Esmaeil Narimanpour
    Esmaeil Narimanpour
    Photo: Article18

    On Christmas Eve of 2023, Esmaeil Narimanpour was apprehended by security forces. The Iranian follower of Jesus was charged with "acting against national security by communicating with Christian 'Zionist' organizations." As of April 30th, he was released on bail after spending more than four months in detention. For more details relating to his case, see these previously posted reports.

  • Raymond Koh's Wife Demands Answers
    Raymond Koh is posing with his wife, two daughters, and son.
    Raymond Koh and his family.
    Photo: VOM USA

    Pastor Raymond Koh was no stranger to persecution when he was abducted off the streets of Malaysia on February 13th, 2017. The incident was caught on security cameras and, although no information about Pastor Raymond's captors has ever been released by the authorities, it is believed that government security forces were responsible for the incident. Video footage of the abduction is available here. For previously published reports about the missing pastor, see this list.

  • Christians Imprisoned for 20 Years Without Charge
    Rev G. Gebregiorgis, Kiflu Gebremeskel, Futsum Gebrenegus, Meron Gebreselasie, Tekleab Mengisteab, Haile Nayzgi
    Photos: Christian Solidarity Worldwide / Human
    Rights Concern Eritrea / Release Eritrea

    On May 23rd, 2004, Eritrean authorities arrested two pastors from the Full Gospel Church in Eritrea: Dr. Kiflu Gebremeskel and Pastor Haile Nayzgi. The arrests were made in response to a government ban instituted in 2002 against all but four of the country's religious communities. Throughout 2004, arrests continued against pastors of the banned organization, which consisted of between 120 and 150 home church congregations at the time. Pastor Meron Gebreselasie was arrested in June 2004. Then in November of that year, Dr. Futsum Gebrenegus, Dr. Tekleab Mengisteab and Rev. Gebremedhin Gebregiorgis were also detained.