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Converts summoned to begin prison sentences for ‘spreading “Zionist” Christianity’

Converts summoned to begin prison sentences for ‘spreading “Zionist” Christianity’

Three Christian converts from the northern city of Rasht have been summoned to begin serving prison sentences of between two and five years for “acting against national security” by attending a house-church and “spreading ‘Zionist’ Christianity”.

Ramin Hassanpour, his wife Saeede, and another woman, Sakine (Mehri) Behjati, have until the end of February to hand themselves in to Branch 1 of the Office for the Execution of Judgments in Tehran’s 33rd district.

The two women are to serve two-year sentences, while Ramin’s sentence is five years.

A fourth member of their group, Hadi (Moslem) Rahimi, is already serving his own four-year sentence.

The four Christians, all members of the non-Trinitarian “Church of Iran”, were first arrested in February 2020.

In May 2020, they spent a week in Lakan Prison in Rasht, having been unable to afford the 500 million toman bail ($30,000) set for them after the charges against them were read out at Branch 10 of the Revolutionary Court in Rasht.

They were eventually released on reduced bail of 200 million tomans ($11,500).

However, they were sentenced in August 2020, and their appeals were rejected in September 2020.

Moslem, who has a 10-month-old daughter, began serving his sentence exactly one month ago today, so that the property deed submitted by a friend to secure his bail could be released.