Male Christian sentenced to flogging in Iran for drinking Holy Communion wine
Mohammad Reza (Youhan) Omidi received eighty lashes on the 14th of October for drinking Holy Communion wine. Alcohol is only forbidden for Muslims in Iran, but since Iranian law does not recognise Omidi’s conversion from Islam to Christianity, he was sentenced to the lashes in September 2016.
Omidi was summoned on the 10th of October for the punishment to his home city of Rasht – where his house-church involvement first led to his arrest in 2012. He was in internal exile in an area on thousand kilometres south, according to London-based advocacy group Article18.
Two of his fellow house-church members, Mohammad Ali (Yasser) Mossayebzadeh and Zaman (Saheb) Fadaee, have also been sentenced to flogging.
Omidi continues serving his two years of internal exile for house-church activities, which authorities termed, “acting against national security.” For that charge Omidi also served two years in prison, reduced from the original sentence of ten years, and he was released on the 13th of August, according to advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide.