04/03/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Three Iranian Christians have positively had their prison sentences impacted as a result of COVID-19 in recent days. All three had been given a temporary leave from prison. Mahrokh Ghanbari was told that she need not return to prison. Fatemeh Aylar Bakhteri and Amin Khaki have both had their prison leave extended until April 18th.
These positive outcomes exist in an otherwise dire environment. The government cannot contain COVID-19, and deep division exists within the government on how to respond. People are dying every day, and there is massive concern for Iran’s many political prisoners, who are kept in prisons whose conditions already contribute to ill health. While Iran has granted a temporarily release to some prisoners and some Christians have been positively impacted by this, more Christians remain in jail than have been furloughed.
Iran is an officially Islamic country and is ruled by a clergy class. There is no tolerance for other religious minorities to freely exist in society. They are viewed as second class citizens and are often arrested on false national security charges.
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