05/21/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – An appeal court believed to be under the leadership of Judge Zargar has rejected the appeal of two Christian converts. Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakhteri were sentenced in September of last year to 18 and 12 months imprisonment respectively. Their charge was that of spreading propaganda against the regime. Fadaei was issued an additional two years internal exile.
Both are members of the Church of Iran in Rasht, a northern Iranian city where persecution has increased significantly over the last five months. Fadaei had already lost an appeal in Judge Zargar’s courts and is serving a separate 10 year sentence in Evin Prison for propagating house churches and promoting Zionist Christianity.
Iran’s leadership is increasingly concerned about the growth of Christianity throughout the country. As an Islamic Republic ruled by a clergy class, Christians are viewed as an inherent national security threat. Iranians are born as Muslims and their conversion is not recognized unless they can prove their family were Christian prior to the 1979 Revolution.
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