(Compass) – Iranian authorities moved Christian prisoner Hamid Pourmand to a military prison last week, deepening fears for the safety of the Protestant pastor jailed nine weeks ago. A former Muslim, Pourmand converted to Christianity nearly 25 years ago and was serving as lay pastor of a congregation in Bandar-i Bushehr when arrested on September 9. Married with two children, Pourmand is a colonel in the Iranian army. In recent months, prominent government officials have repeatedly denounced foreign religions, which they accuse of threatening Iran s national security. In Iran s Islamic courts, a Muslim convicted of apostasy is subject to the death penalty, and several ex-Muslims who converted to Christianity have been covertly assassinated or executed by court order under the guise of spying for foreign countries.