Seven Christian converts sentenced in Iran
Despite Iran’s assurance that it never imprisons citizens based on their beliefs, these seven Christians were sentenced solely because of their faith. Iran had paused several judicial proceedings because of COVID-19, but recent weeks have shown that we can expect the country to continue in its persecution of Christians.
On June 21st, seven Iranian Christians converts from the southern city of Bushehr were sentenced for “propaganda against the state.” They have 20 days to file an appeal, ICC reports.
Habib Heydari, Pooriya Peyma, and brothers Sam and Sasan Khosravi each received custodial sentences. However, the sentence for the brothers also included work restrictions and exile after release. The remaining individuals were all women. Fatemeh Talebi, and sisters Maryam and Marjan Falahi were fined, with Maryam also being banned from seeking employment at national institutions.
All seven were arrested in July 2019 after Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) raids discovered Bibles and other Christian literature and iconography in their homes.
Security agents also confiscated, pictures, crosses, laptops, mobile phones, IDs and bank cards. A source reported that the arrests were conducted with unnecessary severity and in the presence of small children.
Despite Iran’s assurance that it never imprisons citizens based on their beliefs, these seven Christians were sentenced solely because of their faith. Iran is an officially Islamic government and routinely rated one of the top abusers of religious freedom in the world.