Three Year Prison Sentence for Iranian Christian
01/23/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Article 18 reports that Iran has sentenced Christian convert Ismaeil Maghrebinejad to three years in prison for “insulting Islamic sacred beliefs.” He is still facing two other charges: “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” and “membership of a group hostile to the regime.” He has 20 days to appeal his sentence.
Ismaeil had previously been issued a bail amount of approximately $9,000 USD and was facing difficulties obtaining his own lawyer for his defense. However, the judge eventually accepted this lawyer. He was originally facing an apostasy charge, but this was dropped during a hearing in November. His charges were levied for having created a Christian telegram channel. He is 65 years old.
Iran views Christianity as a national security threat since its government’s identity stems from Islam. The country, however, has tired of the government’s harsh rule over people’s lives and conscience. Many are abandoning Islam and instead converting to Christianity. Iran has the fastest growth of Christianity in the region. It also rates as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
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