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Convert Mostafa Bordbar sentenced to 10 years in prison

Convert Mostafa Bordbar sentenced to 10 years in prison

Christian convert Mostafa (Mohammad Hadi) Bordbar has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for “gathering with intent to commit crimes against Iranian national security”.

The verdict, which was communicated to his lawyer on 9 August, was issued by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, chaired by Judge Pir Abbasi. 

Mostafa, who is 27 years old, was arrested in December during a raid by plainclothes security forces on a gathering of around 50 Christians celebrating Christmas at a house in northern Tehran. 

A retired Armenian pastor, Vruir Avanessian, was also arrested and detained for 15 days at Evin Prison, before being released on bail. 

A number of other Christians were detained for several hours, then released. 

Following his arrest, Mostafa spent several months in Ward 350 of Evin Prison, alongside fellow Christians Farshid Fathi and Alireza Seyyedian. 

In June, the three men wrote a joint letter to President-elect Hassan Rouhani, congratulating him on his election and urging him to return freedom to religious minorities, especially Christians. The letter stated:

Dear Dr Rohani, the elected president of our dear nation.

Greetings …  

We, the Christian prisoners, would like to congratulate you on your success in being elected as our president and becoming the head of the law enforcement in Iran. 

We ask God’s wisdom and blessings upon you and your office. May your office, having such a delicate and sensitive role, by God’s help, bring honour and glory to our country, Iran.

We pray that you may bring freedom of religion to religious minorities in Iran, especially Christians – freedom which would allow us to worship God, the creator of heaven and earth. We wish that we may not be prisoners during your term in office, although being in prison just because of our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is an honour for us.

We pray that God’s fear would be in your heart and his wisdom and grace would be a light to your feet. May God’s grace help you to go through the challenging years ahead.

Best regards,

Farshid Fathi,  Alireza Seyyedian,  Mostafa Bordbar