10/20/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this week, nine Iranian Christians were sentenced to five years in prison for “acting against national security” for their participation in a home church in Rasht between January 31st and February 23rd of this year.
Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, Khalil Dehkanpour, Hossein (Elisha) Kadivar, Kamal Naamanian, Mohammed Vafada, Shahrooz Eslamdous, Babak Hosseinzadeh, Mehdi Khatibi and Behnam Akhlaghi were accused at their preliminary hearings of “acting against national security” and “promoting Zionism.” The presiding judge, Judge Mohammed Moghiseh, would not allow the attorney of five of the defendants to represent them on these charges. When those five defendants rejected the attorney provided by the court, they were sent to Iran’s Evin Prison to await further hearings.
These nine Christians have said that they will appeal these sentences, but it remains to be seen whether Iran will loosen its grip on Islam as a facet of state security. These verdicts come just two days before news from Middle East Concern that another Iranian Christian convert, Mohammad Salehi, has not been heard from to date since his arrest at his home on August 25th of this year.