08/05/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Following their February arrest for house-church membership, four Iranian Christian converts were released on bail at the end of May. However, Iranian authorities refused to drop the charges of “actions against national security,” “attending home churches,” and “spreading Zionist Christianity.” All four are now imprisoned.
Ramin Hassanpour received five years and Hadi (Moslem) Rahimi received two years. Two women, Saeede (Kathrin) Sajadpour and Sakine (Mehri) Behjati, both received two years. In another case, Mohammadreza Omidi, who was imprisoned with Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani in 2016, has received a prison sentence reduction to six-years. He was originally sentenced to ten years and had expected that it would be reduced to two years, with a release this past July.
Iranian Christians are often discriminated against by the judicial system, despite the nation’s obligation to serve all citizens equally, regardless of their religious affiliations. These particular cases are discouraging, as these Christians were given hope of release. The Iranian regime still sees conversion and house-church membership as criminal offenses, increasing the day-to-day persecution of Christians.
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