A court in Iran has sentenced 12 Christians to one year in prison for holding worship meetings and evangelizing, considered to be a crime in the country.
Christian Post reports that a Christian convert known as Payam Kharaman and 11 other Christians who were arrested in Bushehr in April 2015 were sentenced for the crime of promoting what the Iranian authorities call Zionist propaganda that goes against the Islamic Republic’s Shia Muslim-controlled system.
Kharaman told the Iranian Christian news agency Mohabat News that he and the others were accused of the crimes because they held house worship meetings, evangelized and invited others to accept Christ as their Savior. Additionally, the Christians were charged with “inclination to the land of Christianity.”
The verdict was handed down by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Bushehr headed by Judge Abbas Asgari. Two others who were sentenced along with Kharaman were Shapour Jozi, Parastoo Zariftash.
“I always insisted on the belief in Christianity for myself and not for promotion of Christianity,” Kharaman said.
“Because I had a boutique shop in Bushehr, a number of officers’ family members in the office knew me and informed of heavy sentences against me, and the case which was under investigation by intelligence office. I thought it was just an empty threat, but unfortunately became a serious issue one or two years later.”
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