Iran Puts Five Christians on Trial for Their Faith
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Mar 11
Five Iranian Christian converts who were detained late last year will reportedly begin trial in Iran's Revolutionary Court this week, according to a human rights group following the case, Fox News reports. The five men were among seven arrested in October when security forces raided an underground house church in the city of Shiraz during a prayer session. They will be tried at the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz' Fars Province on charges of disturbing public order, evangelizing, threatening national security and engaging in Internet activity that threatens the government, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. "Judging from recent cases, it is likely that, at the very least, those detained may face lengthy prison sentences," said CSW spokesperson Kiri Kankhwende. According to Kankhwende, the crackdown on Christian converts and house churches parallels a general increase in repression against many -- including journalists, religious and cultural minorities, and others -- as the government is leading up to June's presidential elections. "There has been a noticeable increase in the harassment, arrests, trials and imprisonment of converts to Christianity, particularly since the beginning of 2012," Kankhwende said.