An Iranian court has overturned six-year prison sentences given to three Christian men in October for charges of political crimes for being members of a Christian church.
Matthias Haghnejad and Silas Rabani were both released from custody. Behnam Irani has served four years of a separate six-year sentence, but had the additional six years that were added to his case removed.
The final hearing took place on 9 December before the Karaj Revolutionary Court and the ruling was delivered on Sunday 14 December, overturning the conviction and releasing two of the three accused. Matthias and Silas are now home with their families.
The three men were represented by Vahid Moshkani Farahani who, at a previous appeals hearing, argued that “people cannot be sentenced on political charges for simply belonging to a religious fellowship,” Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported.
Previously, the three were charged with religiously based crimes of “spreading corruption on earth” (Mofsed-e-filarz) and “enmity against God” (Moharebeh), crimes that carry the possibility of the death penalty.
Christians are most often charged with crimes against national security, such as those brought against American Saeed Abedini, who is serving an eight-year prison term.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Thank the Lord for this wonderful outcome, a clear answer to prayer.
- Pray the Lord will protect Matthias, Silas and their families from those who did not agree with the ruling and wish to do them harm.
- Pray the Lord will continue to be with Behnam; ask God to physically strengthen him as he has not been well and to give him peace and joy in spite of his surroundings.