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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Retired Iranian pastor jailed

A retired Iranian pastor has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. Rev. Vruir Avanessian, 61, who is of Armenian descent, was found guilty on 5 December of anti-government activities and promotion of ideas contrary to the sanctity of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The pastor, who is reported to […]

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Iranians released two weeks early

Two Iranian Christians have been released from jail two weeks before the end of their sentences. Farhad Sabokrouh, pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Ahwaz, and Naser Zamen-Dezfuli, were released on December 4, seven months after their incarceration for converting from Islam to Christianity, proselytising Muslims, and propagating […]

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Iran’s nuclear programme ‘distracting’ world from rights abuses

Iran’s nuclear programme ‘distracting’ world from rights abuses

Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on a tour of an Iranian nuclear facility.Pere Ubu / Flickr / Creative Commons   An Iranian Nobel Prize-winner has warned EU and US officials that Iran’s nuclear programme is distracting them from addressing the country’s human rights abuses. Shirin Ebadi, now living in the UK, […]

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Iranian Christian jailed for 10 years freed

Iranian Christian jailed for 10 years freed

An Iranian Christian sentenced to 10 years in prison has been released after three months. Mostafa Bordbar, 27, was released Nov. 3 from Tehran’s Evin Prison after charges of participating in an “anti-security organisation” and “gathering with intent to commit crimes against Iranian national security” were overturned. Bordbar was arrested […]

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Iranians jailed for ‘house church’ attendance

Iranians jailed for ‘house church’ attendance

Four Iranian Christians jailed for attending a ‘house church’ have lost their judicial appeals. Mojtaba Seyyed Alaedin Hossein, Mohammad-Reza Partoei, Vahid Hakkani and Homayoun Shokouhi were each sentenced in June to three years and eight months in prison. Shokouhi’s wife Fariba and son Nima both received suspended sentences of two […]

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Don’t speak, act, Rouhani told

Religious minorities continue to face repression in Iran, despite new President Hassan Rouhani’s moderate persona, reports Al-Monitor. Al-Monitor says the new President should speak with actions, not words, as he prepares to address the UN General Assembly in New York next week. “Since Rouhani’s election in June, there has been […]

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Retired pastor tried in Tehran

The trial of a retired Iranian-Armenian pastor started on September 7 at the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, nine months after his arrest, reports Mohabat News. Vruir Avanessian, 61, is accused of “action against national security” and “proselytising Farsi-speaking citizens”. His trial took place behind closed doors. Avanessian, who suffers from […]

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Jail then exile for Iranian convert

Iranian Christian convert Ebrahim Firouzi, 28, has been jailed for one year for “evangelism activities [which are] considered in opposition to the regime of the Republic Islamic of Iran”. (Source: Mohabat) Firouzi, who was arrested in March and could not afford a lawyer, will then spend two years in exile […]

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