by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Nine Iranian Christians who had converted from Islam were sentenced to a total of 45 years in prison for "acting against national security" and "promoting Zionism," as Iran's Revolutionary court denied the requests of those who asked for lawyers and transferred them to the country's worst prison.
Converting from Islam is illegal in Iran, and the Christians were punished for everything from possessing Bibles to running house churches after they were originally arrested in January and February.
Five of the defendants refused a lawyer appointed by Tehran's Revolutionary Court head Mohammad Moghiseh, who took offense and sent the Christians to Evin prison, where rights groups have documented horrific abuses, and increased their bail by ten times.
US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback revealed in early December that the State Department convened recently with the sole object of discussing the oppression of Christians in Iran.