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Iran: Christian convert given 10-month sentence for ‘propaganda against Islamic Republic’

The Iranian government particularly targets converts to Christianity, as it considers them to be apostate and threats to the state as it is constituted. That is why converts are frequently charged with offenses such as “propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” It is highly probable that Hamed Ashoori’s “propaganda” was simply Christian material.

Iranian law grants some limited freedoms to the Christians, but they are generally not considered applicable to converts from Islam to Christianity, who are all too often considered enemies of the state, as we see in this case. The U.S. State Department has classified Iran as a “country of particular concern” for “having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, requests that the government of Iran grant full religious freedom to all of its citizens, not interfering with their freedom of worship in any way, and immediately clear these seven converts.

For previous coverage of Iran, see here.

“Christian convert given 10-month sentence for ‘propaganda against Islamic Republic,’” Article 18, April 27, 2021:

An Iranian Christian convert has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”.

Hamed Ashoori, who is 31 years old and lives in Fardis, west of Tehran, was verbally informed of the verdict on 12 April following his final court hearing on 7 March at the 4th Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Karaj.

Hamed has received no written confirmation of the verdict, which he intends to appeal, nor has he at any stage been given any information about the names of any of his arresting officers, interrogators or judges….

Hamed was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents as he left his home on the morning of 23 February 2019.

The intelligence agents proceeded to raid his home and confiscate all Christian items, including Bibles and other literature, as well as computer hard drives.

He was then taken to Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he was held in solitary confinement for 10 days, before being transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison, also in Karaj, for another two days.

During interrogations, Hamed was offered a large monthly salary if he “cooperated” by becoming an informant against other Christians.

When he refused, he was beaten….

Hamed and another family member were then forced to attend “re-education” sessions with an Islamic cleric.

After four such sessions, Hamed refused to participate in any more, and it was then that the court proceedings against him began.

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