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Iran: Nine Christians Sentenced to Five Year Imprisonment

Persecution of Christians in Iran: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that “In Iran, the regime’s crackdown on Baha’is, Christians and others continues to shock the conscience.” This article shows that the crackdown is ongoing. Most of the roughly 300,000 Christians in Iran are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, an ancient Church that broke off communion with Holy Orthodoxy after the fourth ecumenical council, the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Other Christians in Iran are members of the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, and the Roman Catholic Church; there is also a growing number of Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and other Protestants.

We continue to pray that the international community will take the persecution of Christians in Iran seriously and move to protect the embattled Christians and other religious minorities of that country. Please join us in pray for an end to the persecution of Christians of Iran, that the Christian communities of that country would be protected and strengthened, and that all Iranians would find by God’s grace the full expression in the Holy Orthodox Church of the faith that Iran’s Christians are holding fast to amid so much suffering.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of Iran, see here.

“Nine Iranian Christians Sentenced to Five Year Imprisonment,” International Christian Concern, October 20, 2019:

10/20/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this week, nine Iranian Christians were sentenced to five years in prison for “acting against national security” for their participation in a home church in Rasht between January 31st and February 23rd of this year.

Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, Khalil Dehkanpour, Hossein (Elisha) Kadivar, Kamal Naamanian, Mohammed Vafada, Shahrooz Eslamdous, Babak Hosseinzadeh, Mehdi Khatibi and Behnam Akhlaghi were accused at their preliminary hearings of “acting against national security” and “promoting Zionism.” The presiding judge, Judge Mohammed Moghiseh, would not allow the attorney of five of the defendants to represent them on these charges. When those five defendants rejected the attorney provided by the court, they were sent to Iran’s Evin Prison to await further hearings.

These nine Christians have said that they will appeal these sentences, but it remains to be seen whether Iran will loosen its grip on Islam as a facet of state security….

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