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(Compass) – Iranian Christian Colonel Hamid Pourmand finds himself incarcerated in a group cell at Tehran ’s maximum-security Evin Prison with several internationally known political dissidents. An Assemblies of God lay pastor, Pourmand has reportedly explained to his fellow prisoners the circumstances of his arrest and sentencing, based solely on his religious conversion to Christianity 25 years ago. “Actually, the government is very angry about this, because now he is very popular there in the jail!” a source commented. Friends remain fearful for Pourmand’s life. Evin Prison became infamous after the 1979 revolution brought an Islamist government to power — untold thousands of political prisoners were tortured and executed there after cursory trials. Pourmand’s conviction on dubious charges of concealing his Christian faith from military superiors has left his wife Arlet and the couple’s two teenage sons penniless and homeless.