Ahvaz Christians released from prison

Ahvaz Christians released from prison

Farhad Sabokrooh, pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Ahvaz, and church member Nasser Zamen-Dezfuli were released from Ahvaz’s Sepidar Prison on Wednesday, 4 December, after spending 214 days in prison.

Two years ago, security forces had arrested all those present at a church Christmas celebration. Most of those detained were released after interrogation and ordered to no longer participate in church ceremonies. But the pastor and his wife, Shahnaz Jayzan, along with two church members, Nasser Zamen-Dezfuli and Davoud Alijani, were detained and charged with “inviting Muslim people to change religion” and “propaganda against the regime through promoting Evangelical Christianity”.

Each of the four Christians were sentenced to one year in prison by an Ahvaz Revolutionary Court and taken to serve their sentences in Sepidar Prison in May.

Now after serving more than half their sentences, including time in detention before sentencing, Farhad and Nasser have been released, with the expectation that Shahnaz and Davoud will also be released in the coming days.

The Ahvaz Assemblies of God Church has been closed since the day of the arrests.