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Iranian-Armenian Christian Anooshavan Avedian faces 10 years in prison under the amended Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code for what a notorious judge called “propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam”.
Iranian-Armenian Christian Joseph Shahbazian and Christian converts Mina Khajavi and Malihe Nazari were sentenced to a combined total of 22 years in prison solely for practising their Christian faith.
These four converts were given prison sentences of between two and five years for “acting against national security” by belonging to a house-church and “spreading Zionist Christianity”.
Ahmad Sarparast, Morteza Mashoodkari, and Ayoob Poor-Rezazadeh were the second trio of converts to have been imprisoned as a result of convictions under the amended Article 500 of the penal code.
Iranian Christian converts Homayoun Zhaveh and his wife Sara Ahmadi were sentenced to two and 11 years in prison, respectively, in November 2020 for membership and leadership of a house-church.
Esmaeil Maghrebinezhad initially faced four charges after his arrest on 25 January 2019: “propaganda against the state”, “apostasy”, “insulting Islamic sacred beliefs” and “membership of a group hostile to the regime”.
Nine converts whose five-year sentences for “acting against national security” were challenged by Iran’s Supreme Court.
Sevada Aghasar, an Iranian-Armenian Christian, and Ebrahim Firouzi, a Christian convert, were both sentenced to five years in prison.
Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh, an Iranian convert to Christianity, and three Azerbaijani Christians were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for “actions against national security”.
These four men – all leaders of the “Church of Iran” group – were sentenced to 10 years in prison for “acting against national security”.