Earlier this week, nine Iranian Christians were sentenced to five years in prison for “acting against national security” for their participation in a home church in Rasht.
Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, Khalil Dehkanpour, Hossein (Elisha) Kadivar, Kamal Naamanian, Mohammed Vafada, Shahrooz Eslamdous, Babak Hosseinzadeh, Mehdi Khatibi and Behnam Akhlaghi were accused at their preliminary hearings of “acting against national security” and “promoting Zionism”.
The presiding judge, Judge Mohammed Moghiseh, would not allow the lawyer of five of the defendants to represent them on these charges. When those five defendants rejected the lawyer provided by the court, they were sent to Iran’s Evin Prison to await further hearings.
The verdict, pronounced on 13 October, saw each receive five years in prison. These nine Christians have said that they will appeal their sentences.
Sources: International Christian Concern, Middle East Concern
- Pray the Lord will strengthen and sustain these believers and their families.
- Pray the Lord will provide them opportunities to witness for Him, even in prison.
- Thank the Lord for the way He is growing His church in Iran and that no plans of the authorities can stop the work of the Holy Spirit.
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