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(Compass) – An Islamic court in southern Iran acquitted Christian lay pastor Hamid Pourmand on apostasy and proselytizing charges two days ago, declaring, “Under sharia (Islamic law), there are no charges against you.” The judge at the May 28 hearing in Bandar-i Bushehr said he was acquitting Pourmand, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity 25 years ago, because he had “done nothing wrong” according to Islamic law. But the lay pastor has been sent back to Tehran ’s Evin Prison to serve out a three-year prison sentence still under appeal before the Supreme Court for a separate conviction, also linked to his religious conversion. Over the weekend protests intensified in front of the Iranian Parliament demanding the release of prominent prisoners of conscience jailed with Pourmand at Evin Prison.