Iranian Christians to stand trial for “activities against the order”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has learnt that eleven members of the Church of Iran are to stand trial in the Revolutionary Tribunal of Bandar-Anzali for “activities against the Order”, and for drinking alcohol. The charges relate to their involvement in a house church, and to taking communion wine.

The Christians on trial include Pastor Abdolreza Ali-Haghnejad and his wife Anahita Khademi, Mahmoud Khosh-Hal and his wife Hava Saadetmend, Fatemah Modir-Nouri, Mehrdad Habibzade, Milad Radef and Behzad Taalipas, and Amir Goldoust, his sister Mina Goldoust, and his grandmother Zainab Bahremend.

There has been an increase in official rhetoric against evangelical Christians, which has been accompanied by a wave of arrests. On 4 January, Morteza Tamadon, the governor of Tehran, called the evangelical movement “a false, deviant and corrupt sect…placing themselves within the religion of Islam like a parasite and under the cover of Christianity”. So far the arrests of 254 Christians in 33 cities from June 2010 and February 2011 have been confirmed. However, the actual number of arrests is thought to be far higher.


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