Iranian Court Clears Three Christian Leaders of Convictions
Amanda CasanovaReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2014 Dec 17
Three Iranian Christian leaders have had their convictions overturned after an appeals hearing for the men.
Pastor Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani have been declared free from their six-year sentences. Pastor Benhram Irani must still serve two more years for previous convictions.
“We are extremely pleased to learn of the release of Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, Deacon Silas Rabbani, Hossein Baraunzadeh and Rahman Bahman,” said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas.
“While we welcome this news, we remain concerned at the continued detention of Amin Khaki and long-term prisoners like Behnam Irani and Farshi Fathi – all of whom who have been unjustly detained.
"We continue to call on the Iranian government to uphold the rule of law and allow the country's religious minorities to enjoy freedom of religion or belief as guaranteed under Iran's own constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which it is party."
Haghnejad, Rabbani and Irani appealed their convictions earlier this month. They were accused of “crimes against national security” and “forming a network to overthrow the government.”
While Irani was cleared of those convictions, he is still serving in Ghezal Hesar Prison in Karaj for previous convictions.
Jason DeMars, president of Present Truth Ministries, said: "We are very thankful for the prayers and the action the Christians have taken to speak out on their behalf and to intercede for them before the Lord."
Publication date: December 17, 2014