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(Compass) – Iranian authorities abandoned preliminary hearings against Christian convert Hamid Pourmand before an Islamic sharia court in Tehran last week, apparently after news of his trial leaked out to the international press. Officials informed the Protestant lay pastor’s lawyer and family that he was being transferred to his home city of Bandar-i Bushehr to stand trial. Officials did not indicate when the prisoner would be moved or when his trial would begin. An Assemblies of God pastor who became a Christian 25 years ago, Pourmand faces the death penalty for apostasy and proselytizing under Iranian law. “Hamid’s wife and sons feel very alone now,” an Iranian source told Compass. “They are isolated, without any source of income, and no place to go when summer comes.”