Ethnic Iranians are seen as being Muslim, and carrying out any Christian activities in their Farsi language is illegal. An Iranian man who leaves Islam can be sentenced to death and a woman to life imprisonment, although such sentences haven’t been carried out for more than 20 years. However, in 2017 over a dozen Christians – most of them converts to Christianity – were given prison sentences of between 10 and 15 years for “acting against national security”. According to religious freedom watchdog Article 18, such political charges attempt “to avoid international outcry at religiously motivated charges”. Several imprisoned Iranian Christians have undertaken hunger strikes in protest.

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Iranian Christians sentenced, verdict says ‘claiming Jesus is Lord is attack against Islam’

Iranian Christians sentenced, verdict says ‘claiming Jesus is Lord is attack against Islam’

Two Iranian Christians have been given prison sentences for “spreading propaganda against the regime”, reports Middle East Concern. Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakhteri, who belong to the non-Trinitarian “Church of Iran”, were sentenced to 18 and 12 months, respectively. Middle East Concern noted that in the verdict it was written […]

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Amnesty launches writing campaign for release of four Iranian Christians

From left: Victor Bet-Tamraz, Amin Afshar-Naderi, another fellow prisoner Kaviyan Fallah-Mohammadi, and Hadi Asgari.

Amnesty International has called for the release of four Iranians sentenced to a combined total of 45 years in prison “solely for practising their Christian faith”. Its report calls for urgent action from the Iranian government to “quash the convictions and sentences of Victor Bet-Tamraz, Shamiram Isavi, Amin Afshar-Naderi, and […]

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‘How can reading the Bible be acting against national security?’ asks Iranian Christian from prison

‘How can reading the Bible be acting against national security?’ asks Iranian Christian from prison

An Iranian convert to Christianity serving ten years in prison for “missionary activities” has written an open letter to the Iranian authorities, asking how his Christian activities could be perceived as anti-state. “Would it even be possible for a committed Christian – who was born and raised in Iran and […]

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US commission calls for Iranian Christians’ release after ‘new miscarriage of justice’

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of an Iranian pastor and three of his church members, after they were taken to prison last week to serve ten-year sentences for “acting against national security” by “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running “house […]

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Iranian pastor taken to Evin Prison after violent raid on home

Iranian pastor taken to Evin Prison after violent raid on home

Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been taken to Evin Prison in the capital, Tehran, after a violent raid on his home in the northern city of Rasht on Sunday (22 July). The pastor was sentenced to ten years in prison in July of last year, alongside three members of his congregation, and had […]

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Iranian Christian released by ‘courageous’ judge

Iranian Christian released by ‘courageous’ judge

An Iranian Christian has been released from prison after being arrested in April for “propaganda against the [Iranian] establishment”, Middle East Concern reported yesterday, 5 July. Mohammad Ali Yassaghi was kept in Babol Prison in the capital of Mazandaran Province in northern Iran. He is a member of the self-styled Church […]

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Iranian Christian woman pleads with UN to help family overturn ‘false and unjust’ spy charges

Iranian Christian woman pleads with UN to help family overturn ‘false and unjust’ spy charges

An Iranian Christian woman pleaded with the UN’s Human Rights Council today to urge Iran to overturn “false and baseless charges” imposed on her father, mother and brother. Dabrina Bet-Tamraz’s parents and brother are appealing against lengthy jail sentences they have received for church-related activities. The appeal by her father, […]

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Four Iranian Christians set to begin ten-year prison sentences

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.

The four Iranian Christians who saw their ten-year prison sentences upheld by an appeal court earlier this month are expecting to have to report to prison any day now. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, and fellow Church of Iran members Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi could receive a call […]

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Temporary release for one Iranian Christian, court hearings for others

Temporary release for one Iranian Christian, court hearings for others

An Iranian Christian imprisoned last year for actions against national security has been granted “a few days” leave of absence, according to London-based advocacy organisation Article 18. Sevada Aghaser, a choir leader in an Armenian Orthodox church in the capital Tehran, is serving a five-year sentence in the capital’s notorious […]

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