Authorities in Iran may have arrested more than 70 Christians the day after Christmas, a ministry in the country recently revealed.
Elam Ministries said 25 Christians were taken into custody in Tehran and other locations, and unsuccessful attempts were made to detain at least 16 others.
The group added that there are unconfirmed reports of authorities arresting more than 50 other Christians.
One of the Christians was able to call a friend and leave this message:
"Unfortunately, early this morning the authorities came to our homes. They arrested us and many other believers. I want to ask you to pray for us. We are sure God will never leave us or forsake us. God bless you. Sorry for giving you bad news over Christmas, but I believe God will do something for us."
Elam Ministries said, "Armed, plainclothes, special security officers forcefully entered the homes of Christians while they were asleep," then handcuffed them and took them into custody for interrogation.
Eleven of those arrested have since been released.
Tehran Gov. Gen. Morteza Tamaddon confirmed in a statement Jan. 4 that a number of Christians had been arrested, and that he intends for others to be taken into custody.
He accused them of being corrupt, deviant, and similar to the Taliban.