Iranian Christian Receives 80 Lashes
Iran criminalizes converting to Christian faith.
Yesterday, Iranian Christian convert Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan) received 80 lashes after receiving a summons on Saturday from his home town authorities in Rashit for him to return. He is currently serving two years of internal exile in the city of Borazjan, over 1,000 kilometers away. He had previously served two years in prison because of membership in a house church. The lashes were received because he was also charged for drinking wine as part of communion. This is the second time he received 80 lashes for the same charge.
Iran is a strictly Islamic country, something which is enforced by the government but not necessarily reflected by the country’s citizens. The harshness with which the government punishes its citizens for simply having a different conscience is widespread, and especially felt among the country’s Christians. The government criminalizes conversion to Christianity, and severely restricts the faith practice of Armenian and Assyrian Christians.