In February, Ramin Hassanpour, his wife Kathrin Sajadpour, Moslem Rahimi and another convert who does not wish to be named, were arrested for being part of a house church.
On 14 May they attended a hearing at Branch 10 of the Revolutionary Court in Rasht, facing charges related to house church membership – considered a political crime by the Iranian regime.
The court set bail at 500 million tomans each (approximately $46,000 AUD). Unable to meet the demand, they have been transferred to Lakan Prison, near Rasht. On 18 May the court reduced the bail to 200 million tomans each (approximately $19,900 AUD). It is hoped they will be freed on bail.
Ramin and Kathrin have two sons (16 and 7). The younger son is now being cared for by his grandparents.
Iran has a long history of using the judicial system to financially exploit Christians while also condemning them to long sentences in some of the country’s harshest jails. Christians from the Church of Iran have frequently been singled out by the authorities.
Due to COVID-19, there has been much uncertainty regarding the fate of those entangled in the judicial process. Many prisoners have been released, including a small number of Christians, some of whom have had their prison sentences cancelled. How the judiciary will proceed with open cases has yet to be determined.
Sources: Middle East Concern, Article 18, International Christian Concern
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