Iranian converts To be Sentenced for ‘illegal’ Communion wine
- Three Iranian Christian converts have been charged with “acting against national security”.
- If found guilty, they are likely to be flogged.
- A verdict is expected within 10 days.
- 43 Christrians arrested in August.
(IRAN) Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi – all from Muslim backgrounds – were charged at a court hearing in the northern city of Rasht on 10 September. If found guilty, they are likely to be flogged. In 2012, Omidi was one of four Christians given 80 lashes after being convicted of the same charge. Non-Muslims are permitted to drink alcohol in Iran, but leaving Islam is forbidden.
Mossayebzadeh, Fadaie and Omidi were arrested on May 13th alongside Youcef Nadarkhani, a pastor once sentenced to death for apostasy, and his wife, Tina. The couple were released later that day, but the three others were detained. Nadarkhani was later also charged with acting against national security. A verdict is expected within 10 days.
More than 200 Christians have been detained by Iranian authorities since 2015. Many are in jail, while others have been released conditionally, pending sentencing or an appeal. MEC’s Rob Duncan said that at least 43 Christians were arrested in August alone.
“The Iranian regime is conducting a very active campaign against house churches at the moment and leaders of house churches are harassed and put under pressure,” he said.
Nadarkhani was also accused of being Zionist and informed that he had no right to evangelise. He was initially arrested in 2009 and charged with apostasy after questioning why his children’s school only taught Islam in their religious education, which he said was unconstitutional.
Article orginally published by World Watch Monitor