Iran (International Christian Concern) – Three out of four Iranian Christians who were awaiting appeal outcomes have finally received verdicts. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and Deacon Saheb Fadaie were both given six-year sentences and Mohammadreza Omidi received a two-year sentence. All of these were reduced from ten years. Yasser Mossayebzadeh is still awaiting a verdict.
The four Christians were initially arrested in 2016 for “acting against national security” for leading house churches in Rasht, which the government alleged “promoted Zionist Christianity.” While they did experience success in having the sentences reduced, the charges should have been dismissed altogether.
Iranian Christians often face discrimination and harassment from the judicial system. Despite Iran’s constitutional and international obligations to protect its citizens, regardless of religious affiliation, the judiciary has continually targeted Christians for practicing their faith. Iran has recently passed laws which would make it even easier for the authorities to arrest Christians for practicing their faith. Shia Islam is the official religion of Iran.
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