'Iran Jails and Lashes Christian Woman For Faith And Protest'

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) -

'Iran Jails and Lashes Christian Woman For Faith And Protest'

By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News

TEHRAN (Worthy News)-- Christian rights activist Mary (Fatemeh) Mohammadi says she has been sentenced to three months and one-day imprisonment and 10 lashes for publicly protesting Iran's downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane.

Mohammadi, 21, was detained in January during an anti-government protest after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' shot down Ukrainian Airline Flight 752 killing all 176 people on board. The protest came as another embarrassment for the leadership of this tightly controlled Islamic nation where Christians are in the minority.

On social media, Mohammadi claimed she was punished this week for standing up "against the slaughter of human beings and showing sympathy for the families of those who perished on the Ukraine airline crash" in January. She was also punished for "defending the rights of all humans," the activist added.

Islamic law enforcement authorities claim she was only sentenced for "disturbing public order." However, "there was no evidence against me,” she countered. "So I ought to have been acquitted, but instead, I was sentenced not only to imprisonment but also flogging."

Her supporters also link the verdict to Mohammadi's conversion from Islam to Christianity and her decision to speak about her faith in Christ with others.

The sentencing comes despite warnings by rights groups over the spread of the new coronavirus in overcrowded prisons. Several other Christians also remain behind bars on what friends view as trumped-up charges.

Amid the uncertainty, Iranian Christians have reportedly appealed to the international community to pray for Mohammadi and "Iran's regime."

Iranian Christians, "request prayer that Mary will be encouraged, despite the conviction, and know God's peace and power," said advocacy group Middle East Concern. "They also seek prayers that Iranian authorities will respect and uphold fundamental freedoms. Such as freedom of speech and the freedom of religion and belief."