Three Iranian Christians have been charged for taking “illegal” Holy Communion wine, as they now face flogging as punishment. The three of them are Christian converts, and were hooked by the Iranian police on May 13 together with Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his wife.
In line with details, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his wife were released but the three of them were locked up. The detainees have been identified as Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi. They were charged with “acting against national security.”
If the three Christian converts are found guilty and convicted; they are likely to be awarded a punishment of flogging. A verdict on their cases in expected next week. In line with growing anti-Christians hostility in the country, thus far about 200 Christians have been put behind the bars since last year. In August 43 Christians were arrested.
Middle East Concern’s Rob Duncan said: “The Iranian regime is conducting a very active campaign against house churches at the moment and leaders of house churches are harassed and put under pressure.”
“Religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate over the past year, particularly for religious minorities, especially Baha’is, Christian converts, and Sunni Muslims. Sufi Muslims and dissenting Shi’a Muslims also faced harassment, arrests, and imprisonment.
Since President Hassan Rouhani was elected president in 2013, the number of individuals from religious minority communities who are in prison because of their beliefs has increased, despite the government releasing some prisoners during the reporting period, including Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini,” United States commission for International Religious Freedom reported in its annual report.