Iran Sentences 3 Christians To Lengthy Prison Terms

Sunday, July 4, 2021

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - An Iranian court has sentenced three Christians from the evangelical Church of Iran denomination to five years imprisonment each for “engaging in propaganda against the Islamic regime,” trial observers say.

The Revolutionary Court in Karaj in northern Iran also fined the believers, named Amin Khaki, Milad Goudarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi, four million Iranian Rials (some $95), Worthy News learned.

All three are appealing the verdict, according to sources familiar with their thinking.

The three Christians stood trial in Karaj on June 21 for “sectarian activities” under a new amendment to the Iranian penal code, Christians said.

Advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) cited its sources as saying that during the trial, the men were prevented from being represented by their attorney.

The authorities banned the lawyer, although he had fulfilled all requirements for participation ten days before the trial began, CSW added.

CSW’s Founder, President Mervyn Thomas, told Worthy News that the prison terms are part of an unrelenting” campaign of harassment against Iranian Christians” and other religious groups. He stressed that CSW calls for the acquittal “of these innocent” men.

“We also reiterate our call for the repeal of laws and articles formulated or utilized to target minority communities,” he added. “We urge the Iranian authorities to release all prisoners detained on account of their religion or belief.”

It comes amid broader concerns about a reported government crackdown against minority Christians in the Muslim-majority Middle Eastern nation.